I can’t remember not reading. According to my mother (who may be a bit biased), I was reading by the time I was 3. My first vivid memories of reading are found in my walnut-paneled bedroom. The window open with the box fan running, I would lie down across my floral comforter, open a book and set off for the prairie, 19th century England, or some other exotic locale. I didn’t care where I went, just that I went.
Today I am still wooed by a good read. Far away places and times beckon me through the pages, and I am smitten. My husband and daughter don’t see how I can be so totally engrossed in a book that I’m oblivious to my surroundings. They just don’t understand.
While being the lone bookworm in my family is not my choice, it’s something I’m accustomed to. My parents tried, unsuccessfully, to encourage my brother and sister to read. My dad isn’t a reader. My mom used to be, but never with as much intensity or enthusiasm as I had. I was lonely at times, but I had company. Laura Ingalls Wilder. Elizabeth Bennett. Nancy Drew. Dear friends I met in my childhood, they have become part of my identity.
My husband doesn’t care much for reading. Unfortunately, and to my great dismay, my daughter seems to be following in her father’s footsteps. I’ve gone to great lengths to open the world of books to her, but reading isn’t active enough for her. She doesn’t realize that she can hop the ferry to Prince Edward Island or take a wagon out west…if she would only open the pages and dive in!
Perhaps I should panel her room and put a box fan in the window. It’s worth a shot. . . .
Melissa the bookworm is the rare species in her home. She resides in Virginia and at Breath of Life.