From the time I was young I have had a love affair with my books. My mother would take me along on her weekly trips to the library. She would fill her basket with mysteries and mine with my favorites: Make Way For Ducklings, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and Lentil. We would return home where instead of giving her peace to read, I would demand to be read to. Pretty typical of most two year olds. I also had some favorites at home, Good Morning, Farm, Finger Tales and Richard Scary's Please and Thank You. I added to my collection many Little Golden Books and some records of stories, probably purchased to buy my mother some reading time. When my mother went to the hospital for her cancer treatments, she sent home a book for me every day. I have a few of them still, including the one she sent home the day she died.
When I finally turned 8 I was so excited. I could get a library card! I would no longer have to make do with the ones I had at home or got at school! I could choose as many as I could balance in the basket of my bike. I eagerly rode down to the library, got the form, took it home to fill it out and have my step-mother sign it and rode back down to get my card and begin checking books out. I rode down to the library a minimum of twice a week. I read through every book in the children's section by the time I was twelve. My ability to read and comprehend far outpaced my emotional maturity so after a few pretty graphic mysteries and romances I settled on biographies and historical novels.
My taste in books has gotten much wider. I can no longer sit on my bed reading and eating cookies all hours of the day and night. But I still feel that thrill of excitement every time I enter a library or bookstore; the endless possibilities of being home.
Friday, July 1, 2011
My best friend is preparing to move cross country. In preparation of this we have decided to send postcards each week. She gave me the Penguin book cover postcards recently and I began the search for some more postcards. What cards would best represent me? Anne Taintor? Mystery books? Travel? Diet Coke? I turned to my trusted advisor, google, and entered literary postcards into the search box. I found many, but one stood out. “It takes a group to raise a writer.” That’s what I purchased.
Several of my friends are writers, you see. They met in an online writer’s group and have been critiquing and celebrating their work for years now. Me? I’m the reader. I read their works in progress through their revisions and sometimes I get to read them in hardcover form at Costco. They are the group, and I am the village. Because, you see, it also takes a village. You need someone to tell you how it feels. What they felt or did during different parts of the book. I’m not a technical genius, but I know how a great book feels. So I get to read the rough drafts of what will become great books.
This blog is my attempt to tell the stories of a reader. I may include stories from my everyday life, but mostly it will be about books and writers. To my friends, I say thank you. Thanks for trusting me to read and respond. Thanks for believing I won’t put your rough drafts on the internet. Thanks for letting your characters live in my dreams. Thanks for writing, because the world always has room for a great story.