Thursday, January 06, 2011

Literary Blog Hop, or How My Mother Made Me the Reader I Am Today

Literary Blog Hop


Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere!  It is once again time for the ever-entertaining and enlightening Literary Blog Hop, hosted by the lovely Blue Bookcase.  This week's question-

How did you find your way to reading literary fiction and nonfiction?

I don't ever remember a time when I didn't read.  I like to think that part of that is just my general temperament, but I suspect that like most good things from my early life, it had a lot to do with my mother.  My mother was unable to work outside of the home when I was growing up-partly as a result of vision loss that makes it impossible for her to drive, and partly because in the 1970s if your husband could support the family you were expected to be a stay-at-home mom.  This reality really frustrated my mother, who is easily one of the smartest people I know (and I'm not just saying that because she's my mom, honest!).  To stimulate her intellectual self, she read, A LOT!  She has always read, and still reads, at least three times what I do in a week.  I grew up watching her devour books and keep going back for more.  I always enjoyed reading for pleasure, but having her in the house meant that the variety and number of books I had access to was truly enormous.  She has very eclectic reading tastes, and I could get my hands on just about anything, from classics to mysteries to memoirs to literary fiction.  As a teen my favorites were fantasy and science fiction novels (which are two genres she rarely reads-teenage rebellion?  hmmmmm...), but if I ran out of aliens or elves to read about, I could always find something to challenge my mind.  

Come to think of it, my mother has had just as large an impact on my adult reading life.  As a single parent for most of my 20s, working two jobs to support myself and my daughter, my mother passed on to me all of the books that she bought.  For years I almost never bought my own or went to the library, because I had a boxful waiting for me at every visit.  Now that I am in a position to buy my own books, I have so many hand-me-downs that I could read for about four years without ever having to buy or borrow another book (not that I will, though my Goodreads Bookswap addiction may soon require an intervention).   All in all I'd say that my mother made me the reader I am today, and for that I will be forever grateful!

10 comments:

  1. Wow it does sound like you were blessed to have such a literary start. Like you had your own 'Mom's library' (no card needed) :) She sounds like a remarkable woman!

    I liked the scifi/fantasy too, sometimes I still do! Just re-read the LOTR a few years ago.

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  2. Cheers to mothers who are voracious eclectic readers! Their children get exposed to so much! Mine is one too.:)

    Risa

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  3. Your mom's library seems better than my mom's library. Mine has a lot of Danielle Steele!!!

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  4. What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing :) I didn't participate in the meme this week because I honestly wouldn't know where to start with this topic.

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  5. What a great story. I was lucky to have an aunt who does the same thing!

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  6. I think if from an early age, you learn that reading is a pleasurable experience, and by learning I don't mean that it's drummed into you, but by osmosis,through some major figure in your life (parents etc.)

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  7. What a wonderful mom! You were so lucky. (I, too, had a brilliant mom who did not get to work outside the home during her brightest years....So sad to me that she never got the joys that I have experienced from a job.)

    Here is my post for the Blog Hop.

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  8. I'm a new follower, too! (Sorry....I forgot to include this in my previous post....I thought I already was a follower, but I suppose not.)

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  9. So many of us were lucky to have parents/relatives who were readers. It really seems to be a common theme in this week's hop!

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  10. Sadly, my sisters and I were about the only readers in our family....my brothers didn't want any part of books. :)

    What wonderful answers and stories from everyone.

    My story is at:

    http://silversolara.blogspot.com

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