Reading Memories

I currently have a week off from graduate school so I’ve been catching up on all of the books that I have started over the last few months.  I finished The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith yesterday, and I’m reading the last few chapters of So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson today.

First, let me give a little background on this book.  Sara Nelson wrote a memoir about her quest to read 52 books in 52 weeks.  The chapter that I just finished is about reading Charlotte’s Web at the same time as her son, who is reading it for school.  She talks about her son’s reaction to the ending, and simply reading this made my eyes well up with tears.  I have yet to talk to anyone about this well-loved children’s book who doesn’t remember crying at the end.

What really stood out to me about this chapter is the author’s mention that she does not have the fond memories of her parents reading aloud to her as a child that most other book lovers that she knows have.  She also does not enjoy reading aloud to her child, and he does not enjoy being read to except for its purpose of extending his bedtime a bit. 

Charlotte's Web (Trophy Newbery)

Jacob Have I Loved

This made me think of what my memories of reading are from my childhood.  My parents read to me all the time, and I remember enjoying it.  I’m sure they were tired of reading The Cat in the Hat after a while though.  I also remember reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle to my brother.  However, my most vivid memory of reading is a day when I went to the library with my mom and my brother, and we came home and sat in the den reading.  There was a heavy rain that afternoon so I ended up reading Jacob Have I Loved in its entirety while my mom and brother were reading books of their own.  I remember quite vividly laying with my head on the footrest and my feet on the headrest of our old ripped vinyl recliner right next to the sliding door, which was being pelted with rain.  Whenever I get the chance to spend a rainy afternoon reading, that afternoon always comes to mind.

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7 thoughts on “Reading Memories

  1. How nice to have such good memories of reading with your family. I dont know where my love of books come from. I was reading by the age of three (or so I have been told) – I certainly can only remember reading fluently, and always being years ahead of my age on the reading scale. But no one else in my family (either parents above me or children below me) read as much, as variedly or with as much enjoyment. I feel sorry for them, mostly. A good book is breakfast and lunch and dinner and supper to me.And that is a challenge – 52 books in 52 weeks. I could probably manage it, if it was 52 books in a year. And some of them were Terry Pratchett or other grab-me-dont-put-me-down stuff. What sort of books is she reading (apart from Charlotte's Web which, to my shame, I have not read),

  2. She reads all kinds of books. Some literary fiction, non-fiction, and even some of those "gift" books that you find at the front near the register at bookstores. The books aren't limited to "serious" books. She doesn't always get in a book per week either. I'm not quite done yet, but I don't think she'll meet exactly 52 books by the last week. It's a really interesting read if you like to read though. You'll nod your head and say "Uh huh, I feel the same way." She's a kindred spirit. My favorite part is the chapter where she explains that she judges people by the types of books that they read.I have a Terry Pratchett novel (the first one in his series) sitting on my bookshelf right now. I keep meaning to pick it up. Maybe when I finish all of my unfinished books.

  3. I wish I have the time to read more books. Nowadays I may finish one book a month if I am lucky. When I was in school I used to read every day (non-school related books that is) and I quickly built up quite a library at home. Even now after moving across ocean and have to start the library all over again, my wife and I have books spilling out from every corner of the apartment.I kind of abandon reading fiction many years ago though. Somehow the fiction aspect no longer interest me. I find that history/biography/non-fiction in general more interesting and intriguing than fictions. I attribute that to the fact that I've grown up and I no longer feel the need to 'escape' into fiction. I can face my life or the reality of life, so I want to learn more about others' life too.

  4. A good book is breakfast and lunch and dinner and supper to me.I could not agree more, and I struggle to understand why reading does not seem to hold any appeal for my kids. I feel like they are missing out on so much!

  5. I never understand people who say that they don't like to read. I just want to march them to the library and show them that there must be something to read that is of interest to them! I feel like these people just haven't found their genre.

  6. To be honest, and I may be too brutal here, I think those people that say they don't like to read are simply too lazy to try. Reading requires thinking and that requires concentration. Watching mindless reality TV shows are so much easier on the brain than trying to absorb the meaning of words that someone has carefully crafted into a sentence.

  7. I'm on my quest to read my 52 books in 52 weeks as you might have gathered from my blog. I on track as of right now since I didn't start until early October.
    This blog made me happy. I have so many fond memories of reading in my home from the time my memory begins, and I'm sure it started well before then. I think my parents' encouragement for reading has a lot to do with my enjoyment of it today.

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