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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Love Of Reading Is A Joy Forever - Lisa Dale


When I was a kid, I was the first born “everything” in the family—daughter, niece, grandchild, great grandchild…everything. And I think that, as a result, a LOT of people took it upon themselves to read to me.
My mother in particular would take my brother and I, settle us into the couch in the den, and crack open a book.

We read old school classics—a lot of Rudyard Kipling. My favorite stories were “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” (how could I not love a story whose title had so much internal rhyme!) and also “The Elephant’s Child” (another musical, survival-of-the-fittest story whose lines stick in my head to this day).

Eventually, though, life got busy. My mom had to get a full-time job when my father left. Those long evenings of reading had to come to a close. I went to my mom to ask her, “Can we read?” And sometimes, even though she was exhausted, she said “okay.” Other times, it was just “no.”

The result? I learned to read alone—and entire new worlds opened up. The pleasure of sitting quietly with a book, of concentrating, of losing myself in a story, privately, was a much different experience than reading with family sitting by my side. I read and read.

Now that I’m an adult—the same age my mother was when her life spiraled out of control—I have my own set of stresses to deal with. Nothing too terrible, but occasionally, we all have a sleepless night.

It’s my fiancé who comes to the rescue. “Do you want me to read to you?” he says.

And he cracks open a book, a magazine, or even a website (once, he read me to sleep reading about the nature of fog), and I fall asleep smoothly, easily—my grip on the sound of his voice gently loosening and tightening until I’m only vaguely aware when he turns off the light.

My mother gave me a wonderful gift—the gift of appreciating the written word. And when my fiancé reads to me in the evening, it’s hard not to feel wrapped up in his generosity and love.

When you read a story to someone, I think you give them a little part of yourself. It doesn’t matter that the words aren’t your own. Sharing a story is sharing your heart—and while televisions break and iPods get lost, reading a book is a memory you keep forever.

QUESTION FOR READERS: Who in your life encouraged your love of reading? How have you passed that love along?

Happy, joyous, wonderful reading!

12 comments:

Michelle Styles said...

Oh good another Kilpling fan! I adored Rikki-Tikki-Tavvi and had great fun reading out loud to my children. I recently read a biography of Kipling and found it most interesting. I loved that he called his muse his daemon.

And I would say your boyfriend is a keeper!

Heather S said...

It was my mother that inspired me to read. As an English teacher (she was mine in the 6th grade) we read a lot of different books, especially poetry. Then as I grew my tastes began to expand to romance, again because of my mom. I can remember as a little girl my mother reading Harlequin and Silhouette books. Now as an adulty she and I still swap books though my tastes run to everything from sci-fi, paranormal romance, historicals and the list goes on.

Christina Hollis said...

You have another fan here, Best Beloved ;). My grandfather lived in India for a long time, and was a devotee of Kipling. When I was small, he used to climb into the play pen with me, and sit there reading both poetry and prose aloud for hours. I remember being deliciously terrified by his rendition of the Ancient Mariner, in the same way I used to watch Dr Who from behind a chair!

Pat Cochran said...

Our parents gave us the prized inspiration to make reading such a great part of our lives. Mom took us weekly to the library where we used that prize possession: our library cards! We would all leave with arms full of books. All of us sisters always have a book or two in our purses. We all have passed on our love of reading to our children & to our grandkids. Two more generations of young ones
with a library card and arms full
of books!

Pat Cochran

Mary said...

I actually didn't have anyone reading to me, my mom read but she usually read by herself in the bedroom. When I started reading, I read to my little brother and he really liked that.

practimom said...

Oh that is so sweet that you fiance reads to you! I got my joy from my mother as well. Not so much that she read to me, but that i saw her reading and we would always talk about the book she was reading. so i found myself wanting to read so i could have something to talk with her about too.

Dina said...

no one, I just wanted to enjoy places I'd love to travel to.

Linda Henderson said...

I can't ever remember seeing anyone in my family read when I was growing up. I really just starting reading on my own. I had a wonderful librarian who encouraged me to read even more, especially over the summer when they had their reading program. When I had my daughters I bought them books and read to them all the time. They are both grown now and love to read. My first grandson starting reading when he was three, I always thought our reading to him before he was born helped.

Laurie said...

My parents both read a lot. My HS English teacher Mrs. Plantico also encouraged reading.

My husband and I read to our 4 children from infancy on. They are all excellent readers. I think that our family keeps the bookstore in business!

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Kristin said...

That is so freaking sweet, your fiancé reads to you!

Not sure if anyone read to me as a kid but my mom's bookshelf was literally right outside of my bedroom door (she only read Harlequins) and I'd jack them and read them. I was about 8 when I started doing that and that's how I became a reader. :)