For 30 some odd years my grandparents David & Harriet Brown owned a bookstore by the name of Brown's House of Books in Amarillo, Tx. When they retired in 1979 (alas I was only 3 and no where near old enough to appreciate it), my grandmother went to work for the Amarillo Public Library system. On school breaks I would go to the library with my grandmother and lose myself in the shelf mazes until she was able to leave. As the only child in a house full of adults, books became my play fellows. Some of my favorite authors are those of the classics: Francis Hodgson Burnett, Charles Dickens, Jack London, & Louisa May Alcott. I had a very active imagination and had no problem occupying myself inside the pages of a book.
|Brown's House of Books, Downtown Amarillo, Tx|
I will say that I was very fortunate to have my parents, grandparents, and extended family place a high value on literacy. My parents & grandparents read to me incessantly before I could do it myself at the tender age of 5 (honestly I don't remember not being able to read). My extended family fostered my love of reading by introducing me to different authors & genres. I will never forget the Christmas that I received Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time" series from my Aunt Brenda. I think I was probably around 10 at the time, however it opened my eyes to the sci-fi genre.
Another thing that had a high value placed on it during my childhood was critical thinking. I remember watching the Presidential debates with my grandfather and then having discussions with him about the pros and cons of each candidate. I was always encouraged to look words and concepts up if I was unfamiliar with them. Of course this was in the 80's before the internet became ubiquitous. So I would have to wait till I could go to the library to look all these wonderful ideas and concepts up in the card catalog or Encyclopedia. I don't ever remember being shut down for asking questions. If it was something I could learn by looking up myself, it was strongly encouraged. If it was something that took a more personal touch, Memaw, Pa, or my mother would explain it to me.
So today I want to take time to thank all of those who fostered my love of reading. It has been a wonderful and lasting gift that has served me well. A most precious gift indeed.