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.
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.