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The Seeds of Reading

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My mother was born in Ireland, but moved to England when she was three years old. She was an English teacher before becoming a housewife. Many of her books were from European authors. Enid Blyton was the first children’s author I became interested in as a result. I loved her writing.

I was set on the path to reading at a very early age — three years old or so. My mother would read to me in her big bed and I would gaze avidly over her arm at the book; usually Enid Blyton’s Amelia Jane Series or The Magic Faraway Tree by Blyton as well.

As I got older, I would correct my mother’s reading: “It says ‘the apple’ mommy, not ‘an apple'”. By the time I was five and a half, my parents and I lived in America, and I started first grade here. My teacher was none too happy that I could read by the time I got to school! My mother and I still had our little ritual as I grew up until I was about eight or so.

The seeds of a love of reading were planted though; I was reading chapter books at recess, much to the other children’s shock. I was the class bookworm, I had stock in the Scholastic Reading Club. I raised the most money for diseases when my school had reading drives.

My father never really read for pleasure, but he shelled out more money than he ever knew for my “habit”! Not that he ever begrudged me, but he was a math teacher and couldn’t understand why I struggled a little with math and breezed through in English.

When I was a teenager, I broadened my reading tastes: Carrie by Stephen King, Witches by Kathryn Meyer Griffith and any adult horror book I could get my hands on. Yes, horror books were my favorite. Again, my parents didn’t curb my reading tastes. I never read young adult books per se; I pretty much chose my books and could censor myself if need be.

My reading tastes are pretty personal as they are for everyone, I guess. My mother can’t read out and out romance, but I can. She doesn’t like epic fantasy, but I do. We both still love horror, and I love the classics as well.

The first classic that I read on my own was the Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy. My first run in with fantasy was by Anne McCaffery, Stephen R. Donaldson and Barbara Hambly. My first taste of romance was the Harlequin Historical Series.

I first started blogging two and a half years ago. It started as a lark for me; I had so many books that I wanted to read and wanted to keep track of them somehow. I so enjoyed talking about books with my mom that I never even remotely thought that others would like what I had to say as well. Blogging has opened up avenues to talk to authors as well which is something that I always wanted to do but was too shy.

Every day that I read, I find that I learn something new, and I hope that I pass that on.

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About emeraldfire

  • b

    I share your experience…my mother read books to be as I fell asleep at night. Fairies and forests fill my dreams. Setting her child on the path to reading is what a perfect mother does. It is the gift that changes your life. You are a very lucky woman.


  • Yes, it is a wonderful gift for me and for you too, it would seem. I count my blessings every day.

  • From the viewpoint of a person who operates a boutique indie press, I must tell you, “book people” like you keep me going when things run thin.

    Thanks for sharing your story…

  • anne

    reading is a wonderful experience.you are lucky to have a mom who guided you at an early age. I try to instill this discipline in my kids as well..because i know that reading will be able to take them to places where i myself have never been.

  • @NDPub – you operate a press? Cool!
    @anne – I could just lose myself in books, and did several times! 🙂