I have always been a voracious reader. As a kid I remember going to the library in the summer with my Grandma and checking out huge stacks of books and then reading the hot summer days away while she read and watched golf. Of course there was Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, Every Laura Ingalls Wilder book, all of the Boxcar Children books, Marguerite Henry and every book in the library with a horse on the cover. I remember the Scholastic book fair days at school and being heart broke when I was only allowed to pick out 2 books instead of the 20 I wanted to take home. I can tell you the layout of the library in my elementary, middle and high school as well as several of the public library branches with ease even after more than a few years since setting foot in them. “Take a look it’s in a book, Reading Rainbow….” plays in my head without the need to youtube or google.
I was raised as an only child and the characters in the books were my friends, always there for me to play with. I read fast, it was nothing for me to finish a few books in a single day. I was reading way past my grade level and tested in the top percentile for reading all through school. I was good at reading and considering I never seemed to be very good at anything else, I was proud of my reading abilities. What I never could explain was how a book could hold my focus when nothing else in the world could. Now being an adult with ADD I know that the books provided my brain the stimulation it craved. As an adult I don’t read often enough. I still love to read, but when I find a good book I simply can’t put it down. That makes getting work done very difficult.
For the thousands of books I have read, I can still remember reading my very first book, cover to cover all by myself. Twenty-Five plus years later, I don’t just remember the book, I remember sitting in my bed and reading it out loud, I can still see the words on the page and the drawings, I can hear myself reading it. I remember as a Kindergartner sitting cross legged in the Frank Allis Elementary School library hearing about what the shiny gold sticker of the Caldecott Award meant and that’s when I picked up the book that made such an impression on me. I’ve always been attracted to shiny things.
I heard that Maurice Sendak passed away today. I wanted to write this post as a thank you to him. His book opened the world of reading to me and reading opened the world to me.
What was your first book?