It started on the couch of my childhood home. 1404 Lincoln Road. My brother and I would sandwich my dad on the middle cushion while he read Berenstain Bears and Little Critters and I’d search for that spider. Anybody remember that spider?
I went to a special reading teacher in first grade because they thought I might have dyslexia. Her name was Mrs. Detmering.
And then my second grade teacher, Mrs. Getty, read the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books out loud to the class and books began casting their spell.
Not Ann of Green Gables. I got a set of those for Christmas and tried. I really did. But I couldn’t get through the first one.
But Boxcar Children and Judy Blume?
Oh, how I loved Fudgie’s shenanigans.
I must have read hundreds of books in my younger years, but these are the ones I remember…
The Phantom Tollbooth. If books hadn’t already grabbed my allegiance, this one sure did. After such a magical experience, there would be no going back.
Where the Red Fern Grows. I cried real tears over those two dogs.
The Face on the Milk Carton. My first re-reader. Anybody else remember it? I think it was the romance that got me.
Then I went on a major Mary Higgins Clark kick.
And in high school, I picked up Gone with the Wind.
I remember reading it on the bleachers before basketball games. I remember reading it late into the night. I remember finishing it and immediately checking out the sequel (not written by Margaret Mitchell) at the library because what in the world!? Rhett and Scarlett had to be together.
I read I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb in my high school popular adult lit class and decided I would be a psychologist.
Then in college, on my dorm room floor in Madison, Wisconsin, I gave my life to Christ and a friend introduced me to this genre called Christian fiction.
I read Redeeming Love and The Mark of the Lion trilogy (life-changing) by Francine Rivers. Karen Kingsbury’s One Tuesday Morning (unputdownable).
Somewhere along the line I met Harry Potter, and oh my goodness, I was a goner. I think I’ve read those books 4 times through, at least. Hubby would often joke, “Is Harry coming between us again?”
More magic. And I’m not talking the actual magic that occurs in the Harry Potter world. But the magic that comes when we are swept into words on a page. When we’re transported to another place and try on somebody else’s skin.
That’s the magical part. That’s why I love books. And that’s why I read them to my son.
I wonder which ones he’ll remember when he’s grown.
Let’s Talk: What books do you remember from your childhood? What are some recent favorites? When did you fall in love with reading?