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Indoctrination August 26, 2007

Posted by sensawunda in Books, Memes, Sensawunda 101.

…from Booking Through Thursday (via superfastreader)

When growing up did your family share your love of books? If so, did one person get you into reading? And, do you have any family-oriented memories with books and reading? (Family trips to bookstore, reading the same book as a sibling or parent, etc.)

From as far back as I can remember, through at least the age of ten, I went to the town library every so often with Mom and my brother. She would check out a stack of books, and we were each allowed to get a certain number. We also had sets of children’s classics at home. I think she had bought them before we were born, for her future children. One set I loved in particular—it contained an eclectic mix of fables, fairy tales, mythology and excerpts from children’s novels, all accompanied by reproductions of the illustrations from the original editions. That set more than any other shaped my literary tastes. I’m still a sucker for anything illustrated by Arthur Rackham or his present-day heirs.

Mom read to us too… and even though I could already read to myself faster than an oral reading (having “forced” her to teach me to read when I was 3, she says), I still enjoyed following along, snuggled up to her right side on the sofa while my younger brother snuggled up to her left.

Dad’s influence came later. He introduced me to science fiction. He had a complete (up to that time) set of Larry Niven’s Tales of Known Space, and I read them all, including the short stories. I can still name the shorts that impressed me the most. “Bordered in Black”… “All the Myriad Ways”… “For a Foggy Night”… “Safe at Any Speed.” And, for good or ill, Dad took my brother and me to see Star Wars when it first came out.

In college, someone once asked me how my parents got me interested in classical music. I shrugged and said, “They enjoyed it themselves… and they had records that children could enjoy, like Peter and the Wolf and the 1812 Overture.” It’s the same with reading.



1. annie - August 27, 2007

I love the last comment–I hope that Superfast Baby catches reading from me!

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