5:00 pm - Hour 11 (5.5 hours reading time)

Hokay, so. Tea and biscuits have been consumed. Things have actually started to happen in Good Omens. We have one guest who is working his way through The Life and Death of King John by Shakespeare and we're about to have another pot of tea. For those curious, we are drinking Peet's Earl Grey with Bergamot. It is tasty.

This hour's Mini-Challenge is from Joy Story.

I was extremely lucky as a child to have a family passionate about literature. They were also passionate about theatre, but it started (as most things in theatre do) with the text. I learned how to read using street signs as my mother drove, and by the age of 3 I was reading with her. Some of my strongest memories are she and I reading the Oz books by L. Frank Baum. We would read them together, often switching chapters so we both had an opportunity to read. She continued that tradition with my brothers and sister. Even today, she and I share book recommendations, and on our cross-country trip, I read several chapters from a Nora Roberts book to her when it was her turn to drive.

Reading has been so important in my life, and I can't imagine not growing up with a book in my hand. The sad truth is that not every child has the opportunity to explore the world of books. Organizations like Reading is Fundamental help to connect children and their families not only to the world of literature, but to the community around them. They don't just give access to books for children, but let them keep books so that they can experience the joy of owning the key to a world beyond their own.

To my mother, I say: Thank you.

Thank you for always having the time to read to me, despite being in school and raising two children.

Thank you for encouraging me to explore books beyond my reading level.

Thank you for carting me to the library, and covering for me when I lost my library card so I could still check out books.

Thank you for continuing to share your love of literature with me so that I am reminded that there is a world beyond my "adult responsibilities".

I love you.


Joy Renee said...
October 24, 2009 at 6:01 PM

Thank you for that. It was truly moving. I have similar memories of my Mom reading to me. I learned to read before age four as well, learning to recognize the words my mother pointed to as she spoke them. My mom tells the story that I was still in my crib when I began insisting on sleeping with a book under my pillow.

Read in gratitude.

Read for joy.

Ronnica said...
October 24, 2009 at 6:25 PM

It's a wonderful gift that a parent gives a child when they pass on the love of reading. My mom too gave me that gift...that more than almost anything else has shaped who I am today.

Keep up the reading!

Anonymous said...
October 24, 2009 at 7:09 PM

Looks like you're doing great so far! Good luck in the rest of the read-a-thon!

CupK8 said...
October 24, 2009 at 7:33 PM

My mom tells the story that I was still in my crib when I began insisting on sleeping with a book under my pillow.

Adorable! Mother-daughter book love is very special. :)

It really is one of the greatest gifts I've ever received.

Thanks! :D

SonomaLass said...
October 25, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Although "mother-daughter book love" sounds vaguely kinky, I'm so glad to know you feel this way. Not like I didn't know, exactly, but it does a mother's heart good to hear these tings. You're the only one of my four kids who really inherited my passion for reading or for the stage (and you completely surpass me on the latter). I also treasure the memories of your early reading adventures! Books are something we'll always share.

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