I love to read- I’ve loved reading as long as I can remember.
My mom took my sister and me to the library every week for years. She was never without a book, or at least that’s how it seemed to me. My sister wasn’t much different, and Dad often was awakened when the book he had been reading landed on his chest. I learned to read in Kindergarten – which is normal these days, but wasn’t over 40 years ago when I started school. We had these little yellow readers. The first one was Sam. It had three words in it – I am Sam,and it consisted of every possible combination of those words. A few new words were added with each little reader and I learned to read. I was thrilled to join the family of readers.
My mom told me my first trip to the library was in a baby carrier. I can picture it so easily – my little carrier sitting on the table while Mom browsed the paperbacks. Books were always a treat. When we took long driving vacations as a kid, Mom would take us to the used bookstore where we would each pick out a big stack of books which were immediately hidden away until the morning of the trip. I think I looked forward to the books more than I looked forward to the trip. I can remember traveling through the Rocky Mountains and my mom knocking on the window (my sister and I rode in the bed of the pickup with a camper on it) and telling us to put down our books and look out the window. We didn’t. We were lost in our books.
As an adult Mom and I would meet each other at the library every two weeks. She typically checked out 10-12 books, and my stack was similar. One time I watched a little girl in line behind my mom. Her eyes got big as she looked at the tall stack of books in Mom’s hands. She said, “Are you really going to read all those books?” To which Mom replied, “Yes, and if you keep reading you’ll be able to read all these books someday, too.” My mom was a reading hero to me that day.
This summer I’ve been reading Donalyn Miller’s Reading in the Wild. My mom was definitely a wild reader; both my sister and I continue to read voraciously. My dad kept a spreadsheet of books he’d read, along with his own rating system. I’m so grateful for the example my mom gave me, and I love trying to pass that love on to my 5th graders.