Today is the one-year anniversary of my Grama's death. I won't go into it too much, because I wrote this post on my other blog, but I wanted to acknowledge it here on my book blog as well because she's a big part of the reason I do what I do.
I come from a family of readers. My mum loves to read, and my dad and grandparents loved to read. I had tons of books as a kid, and often got books as presents. I loved it when my parents or Grama read to me. Before my dad died, we had this weekly routine where we went to the post office, which was in the back of a drug store that had a kids' book display. Every week I was allowed to choose a new Berenstein Bear book. I collected all the ones written up to 1994 and a few afterward, and I still have them. They're well-worn and well-loved, and they're my go-to book when I have kids around.
My love of reading fuelled my love of writing. I don't think I would have become a writer if I hadn't been such an avid reader, so I have my parents and grandparents - my mum and Grama in particular - to thank for that. Reading has always been a natural part of life. When my Grama was in the nursing home, the library had a program where they sent large print books to seniors every three weeks. She could read eight library books in those three weeks, and often had to have us bring her more, or the nurses would bring books in for her, or she'd go down the library in the nursing home and pick something (this was as well as knitting, painting, and participating in all the activities in the nursing home).
She read right up until the time she died. In fact, two nights before she died, while she was in the hospital confined to bed and couldn't see well enough to read or hold up a book, she said to my mum and me 'I'm so annoyed, wasting all this time lying here when I could be reading or painting or knitting.' We cracked up, and still talk about that to this day. She loved to be busy, and she loved to lose herself in a good book. Oh, did I mention that she was almost 100 when she died?
I feel really blessed to have grown up in a home that encouraged reading. It makes me sad to see kids today that are hooked on video games, computers, TVs, and other gadgets. My ten-year-old nephew is one of those kids and whenever he's away from his electronics, he complains constantly about being bored. My response: "READ A BOOK!" He just shrugs; he's not growing up in a house that encourages reading, so it's foreign to him and that breaks my heart. I've always said that when I have kids, I'll be reading to them while they're in the womb! I want them to experience the pleasure reading has brought me - it's been an escape, it's kept me sane, and it's helped me travel the world when I'm stuck in my little city.
Who or what inspired you to read? A family member? A teacher? A friend? Something/someone else? I'd love hear from you!