‘So I say Thank You For The Books…’ is a new weekly feature and where each week someone, blogger or author, tells us who or what inspired their love of reading
This weeks post is from Katie M. Stout of One Page At A Time
A lot of people credit their love of reading to teachers or grandparents who sat in comfy, musty chairs in front of a warm fire with a giant copy of The Lord of the Rings in their lap, but the person who introduced me to the wonderful world of books was a science fiction-loving Trekie, better known as my mother.
My mom started homeschooling me in first grade. A large part of my curriculum involved reading. She didn’t believe in kids learning how to read with simple, grade school readers. We dove straight into the classics.
I read Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women in third grade.
For some people, this might have turned them off reading altogether, but for me, it provided a challenge worth conquering. Because my sister loved being read to as a child, my parents thought it would be good if my dad read me to sleep.
That plan didn’t work out, however, because he would either fall asleep with Little House On the Prairie lying on his chest or I would grab it out of his hands to read myself. I had no patience with someone else reading to me. I wanted to devour the story myself.
And that voracious appetite I learned from my mother. I remember seeing her sitting in bed at night, snuggled up with a new or well-loved Star Trek paperback. She would engage me—a fifth grader—in lengthy discussions about the titles she had assigned and I had finished. Reading wasn’t just about entertainment in my house, but expanding your mind and experiencing new worlds that could help you better understand the one we live in.
Throughout high school, my mom encouraged my love of books. We browsed shelves at bookstores, libraries, and homeschooling conferences for classics I might enjoy. At some point, she let me choose what I read – she didn’t force Dickens’ Great Expectations on me when I really wanted to pick up Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native. I had options.
My most vivid childhood reading memory involves a book calledStone Fox, by John Reynolds Gardiner. It was a thin book, only 96 pages long.
The afternoon I picked it up, my mom refused to go on her daily walk and leave me alone with the book. As I lay on my bed and wept over the heartbreaking story, I was angry at her for making me read it. After I’d finished the last page, I went to where she sat on our porch and literally threw the book at her. Through tears, I screamed and asked why she had bought it for me, why I’d had to read it. Then crawled into her arms and let her hug me until I had accepted the fates of Willie and his loyal dog Searchlight.
Even years later, I couldn’t think of that book without tearing up. My mom taught me an important lesson with that small paperback – that books have the power to move us, that reading actively engages your emotions, as well as your mind. Books can change you.
And for this knowledge, I will be forever thankful.
You can catch up with Katie at her blog here where she not only reviews books but charts her very own writing journey
Would you like to be featured in So I Say Thank You For The Books…? I’m looking for bloggers and authors who would like to write a guest post for this weekly feature.
Is there one particular person who inspired your love of books? It could be a relative, teacher, librarian, a particular author…anyone. It could even be a ‘thing’…perhaps a movie prompted you to look up the book which inspired it or a specific event occurred and you’ve never looked back? It’s up to you…now’s your chance to tell us all about it! (Obviously, for privacy reasons, we don’t need full names and photo’s of people!)
There’s more details here. You can be as creative as you like and don’t have to follow a specific format. Feel free to email me with any questions!
Checkout previous So I Say Thank You For The Books…posts here