Friday, August 24, 2007

Booking Through Thursday (err..Friday)

I always enjoy reading people's Booking Through Thursday entries, but I've never felt an overwhelming desire to answer one of the questions. Until I saw this week's question.

When growing up did your family share your love of books? If so, did one person get you into reading? And, do you have any family-oriented memories with books and reading? (Family trips to bookstore, reading the same book as a sibling or parent, etc.)

My mom is a huge book reader as well, and she and I definitely bonded over books. When my sister was little, she read quite a bit as well (though never with the all-consuming passion I experienced), but now she doesn't read all that much. My dad read a little but not like my mom did. Here're my favourite family book-loving memories

+My mom and I read classics together before bedtime. Two most memorable? Little Women, which I took camping with us; the first night in the cabin is when a major character dies (I don't want to spoil it). Will always remember where I was. The other one is Phantom of the Opera-I tried to read it by myself in 6th grade. I got to the chapter where Christine disappears behind the mirrors, and chucked it across the room in frustration. So, Mom and I read it together. Then, for me 12th birthday (the next year, when we had moved to England), we went and saw the musical at Her Majesty's Theatre. I still have my sweatshirt, with the Phantom's mask that glows in the dark.

+Every other week (in elementary school), my sister and I received a $4 allowance. However, if we wanted to buy a book with it, Mom would pay for half of the book (meaning, I could get two books!). My 2nd grade teacher had retired and opened a bookstore, so we'd all bike there (small town) and pick out our books.

+On a visit to my maternal grandparents when I was 10, Mom emerged from the basement with an old suitcase. Inside it were her Nancy Drew books (she had around 25 of them). She gave them all to me; I read The Secret of the Old Clock that day. After that, every Christmas for a long time I received 3-6 Nancy Drew books to add to the collection. I plan on bequething it my children.

+One of my earliest memories is a book memory. When I was 4, we took a family trip to Wales (we lived in England then). We stayed at this awesome bed and breakfast, and I found The Magic Far-Away Tree by Enid Blyton. I started reading it, but (obviously) didn't finish before the end of the vacation. The nice B&B proprietress let me keep the book! I still have it, and I'm waiting for my niece to get a little older so that I can read it to her.

+Edited to add one last memory: when I was in third or fourth grade, we were only allowed to check one book out of the school library at a time. So, I picked the biggest one: an encyclopedia of North American mammals. And guess what? Mom and I read it as nighttime reading! That incident became a legend at my elementary school. :)

Well, those are just a few of my childhood book-family memories. As you can tell, I have an awesome mom who did everything possible to encourage my love of reading. We still trade book suggestions a lot; I got her addicted to Laurie King's Mary Russell series, and while I was at college this past year, I would receive care packages with brownies or banana nut bread and the next one in the series. :) Sometimes, we'll both just hang out quietly reading, and we like to go on trips to B&N together. Yep-reading has always been a family affair!

9 comments:

MyUtopia said...

Oooh, a great one, I participated as well.

Booklogged said...

Eva, I so enjoyed reading this post. You have so many neat book related memories. It's nice to have that kind of relationship with your mom. My daughter and I are sharing something similar. We like to read and discuss the same books.

I love the Nancy Drew suitcase - what a treasure. And the Enid Blyton book from the B&B - another nice memory.

Thanks for sharing these memories with us. It makes me want to read more with daughter and grandkids.

a.book.in.the.life said...

What a brilliant post, I loved reading your memories! I also used to love Nancy Drew but sadly don't have any of them any more:(

Dorothy W. said...

Beautiful memories! I like the one about riding your bikes to the bookstore :)

Merri said...

Great post! I loved encyclopedias too..
My Dad bought us a children's set and we poured over it..lol
Too nice of the B and B lady to let you keep the Enid Blyton book!

Eva said...

Myutopia, I'm glad you participated as well!

Booklogged, I feel very lucky to have the relationship w/ my mom that I have. I'm glad that you and your daughter have something similar!

Book in the Life, I'm sorry you don't have your Nancy Drews anymore. :( But at least you enjoyed them when you were younger!

Dorothy, we rode our bikes everywhere back then. I used to pretend that mine was a palamino, because I really wanted a pony. :D

Merri, wasn't it sweet of her? So cool that you had a children's set of encyclopedias-I bet it had awesome illustrations!

Dewey said...

These answers really made me smile. I especially liked the way your mom encouraged your reading with the double allowance for books thing. I used to spend my allowance on Archie comics.

Petunia said...

What beautiful memories! I hope my own children will have such fond memories as they grow into adults.

Eva said...

Dewey, wasn't that cool of her? It certainly encouraged my bookbuying habit. :)

Petunia, I'm sure they will, with such a good mother setting the example!