All of you that probably read this blog are avid readers in general, known to plow through books on vacation more than margaritas, and known to shut out the world when the perfect read lands in your lap; ignoring the whining of your loved ones (cats, dog or people, doesn’t matter). So what made you this way? When did you get sparked into reading? What kept you? Who kept you? Or were you the weird Matilda in your family?
My story is all very typical. My childhood home simply overflowed with books. My dad was a history buff and his books spilled from table tops and bookshleves to make a carpet of pictures and diagrams on the floor by his his side of the bed. My mother devoured modern fiction and literature in neat stacks on her side of the bed, nestled kindly among little books of poetry and tea making. My grandma collected picture books and national geographics of all the places she would never travel to, and my grandpa kept every college book he ever bought, which enveloped the basement on built in shelves. As a child I grew up with books in every room, beautiful old and new, dusty and clean, bought and borrowed, shared and given wonderful books.
For birthdays and Christmas it was all about the next Harry Potter, or some other adventure story. It was a marvelous way to explore the world. We would spend summers on our ranch in Wyoming and with no television my younger sisters and I would spend free time devouring some story or another. It was in between the pages of a fiction or a memoir that I would be inspired to see the world.
Oh, and I became an obsessive reader, delving into one story or another in order to read about the world or other worlds when I did not have the chance to be mobile. I also welcomed reading assignments with school as a new challenge, even if I disliked the story at the end, it was worth a read, it was worth knowing, it was worth exploring.
Of course Harry Potter hooked me in ways, like so many from my generation. Everything was dissapointing for a while after they were over, but it only meant that I needed to go out into the world and find more to read. Which I did, and I am still discovering more and more beautiful things to fill up the void that only the written word can give me.
~Rebecca Lee Robinson