My parents and family members have wondered for years where I get the reading genre from. I don’t come from a family of readers on both sides and I’m the only one that has a book with her all the time. I’m blessed that my parents nurtured my love despite driving them crazy with constant trips to the library. My parents were teenagers when they had me (they were married at 16/17 and I came a little over a year of their marriage. They are still married!) and there wasn’t much money. I use to spend evenings in the library at the University of El Paso while my dad met with his study groups. I remember, a few students in his group complaining because they had to study in an area where I could browse and still be visible.
The one book that drove my parents crazy with constant rereading was Dr. Suess’ Green Eggs and Ham. I LOVED that book and wore out my copy. My poor mother would roll her eyes when I’d sit with her to read it to her. I was about 8 when we read Scott O’Dell’s The Island of the Blue Dolphins. It’s the one book I still buy and hand out if I’m invited to a child’s birthday party. I always wanted my own copy, but my parents never bought it. I wore out the VCR tape we had of the film adaptation.
As a pre-teen, I stuck with the usual authors, Judy Blume, Nancy Drew, Francine Pascal, and R.L. Stine. I’m jealous of kids today because there’s so much material written for them and I wish I would have had that growing up, but I wouldn’t trade the authors I grew up with. I was also an ambitious kid. When my peers would do book reviews for the Blume books, I’d be presenting a Dickens’ novel. I clearly remember a teacher raising an eyebrow when I insisted on reading A Tale of Two Cities. I didn’t finish it then, but since the teacher hadn’t read it I lied about the grand scheme of the book. Yeah that’s my bookish confession between us.