I suppose today is a good day to begin a blog about books. Specifically, a blog that intersects books and life (the book life!).
What better way to begin to explain my own book nerdom than through the lens of my own history with books.
Did it begin in childhood? Why yes, yes it did. And it was as natural as waking up or going to sleep – this reading thing was.
Was I an early reader? Was I picking up Hemingway at the age of three and working out what a leopard was seeking on the western summit of Kilimanjaro? I don’t think so. But I do remember the smell and the feel of the books and the stories of Dr. Seuss and the Berenstain Bears when I was only five years old.
My parents were both writers and the creative types and our house was filled with books, so it was natural to tend – at a young age – toward the literary. My mom was an actress, so I learned to read and love plays: Chekhov, Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neil, etc. – my favorites being The Glass Menagerie and Heartbreak House. There I’d sit on the living room floor behind the couch pretty much mesmerized by these plays. I clearly remember the first time I read the line, “They’re common as—weeds, but—you—well, you’re—Blue Roses!” I thought it was brilliant! Blue Roses! Ha! Who knows why? Why an eight-year-old girl (the age I probably was when I read it) was so drawn to that play and that line. I don’t know.
Anyway, so yes, I caught the reading bug quite young. I was who I was and I was drawn to reading – reading quite a freaking lot. Genes perhaps? Neither my sister nor my brother had such an interest in books and writing and…well, they were brought up immersed in a home of writers and avid readers. They’re both, however, quite musically inclined, as is my mother (a pianist, guitarist, singer and songwriter – yes, she’s got talent.) My dad and I are both terrible musicians who equally sound horrific squeaking out anything resembling a tune and neither one of us has one iota of interest in learning to play an instrument or sing.
In my next post. Maybe tomorrow? I’d like to talk a little bit about where kids pick up the reading bug from. Really! Why do some kids love reading for pleasure and others find it so…boring. Are the feelings borne of the (digital) age in which we live or are some kids/people simply wired to read? Thoughts?