How did I come to love words so much? I remember reading everything I
could get my hands on, and clambering up bookshelves to get to the
books that were placed just out of reach. I read omniverously. After I
read and reread my storybooks and that well-loved set of Childcraft
volumes, I attacked my mother’s business books and parenting books. I
read and read and read, and when I wanted to give myself an extra
challenge, I read upside down.
I don’t know why I loved reading so much. Maybe it has to do with the
way my mom obviously loved reading and how much she learned from
those books. She told me how she used to read to me until her voice
cracked from fatigue and how I’d beg to be read to again and again.
(“But you’ve practically memorized ‘Three Little Pigs!’”)
I don’t know what my mom did to make me fall in love with reading, but
I loved reading even when she told me not to – at the dinner table, in
the car, while walking. I read everything everywhere. Books were
constantly moving through the house. Some errands to run? Not a
problem – leave me in a bookstore and I wouldn’t notice the hours fly
by. One of my favorite ways to soak up time is still heading to a
bookstore, pull interesting books off the shelves, and practically
I wish I could figure out how to help J fall in love with books too.
If she does, then new worlds will be open to her, and no classroom or
teacher can limit her. What was that magical piece? The availability
of tons and tons of books, some of which could be easily read and
understood and others which forced me to stretch? The way my mom
referred to her books, the way she obviously loved learning? Maybe
that’s one of the things I can do whenever I visit – let my love for
learning shine through, so that J can deepen her enjoyment of reading
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