Thanks, Mom, for my love of reading


I don't know what the illustrator was going for, but this thing gave me nightmares!

I’ve always loved to read. I have my mom to thank for that. She instilled in me a love of books and a love of reading, and she did that early.


She told me that she read the newspaper to me when I was still in the womb. Her neighbor in the next apartment thought Mom had company because she could hear her talking, but it was just my mother reading a newspaper story to her unborn child.


After I was born, Mom read to me before I could read. It was a wonderful bonding experience for us. The first book I remember her reading to me was Ann Likes Red by Dorothy Seymour. I loved that book and can still remember images and words from it. Others that come to mind include The Runaway Pancake, Amelia Bedelia, and Curious George.


After I learned how to read, my mother continued to encourage my love of reading. My bookshelves were filled with selections from the Scholastic Book Club, as well as used books she picked up from God knows where.


I had the entire set of Laura Ingalls Wilder books. A few Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden books. The Toothpaste Millionaire. Encyclopedia Brown. Island of the Blue Dolphins. Heidi. A Wrinkle in Time. Books whose titles I can’t remember now. Hundreds of books!


I didn’t enjoy some of my books because of the artwork. My copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales was very old and featured disturbing illustrations, as did my vintage copy of Raggedy Ann and Andy in Cookie Land. Yet, I still read them, over and over.


Mom gave me a golden ticket when she took me to the library for my first card. As far as I was concerned, the public library was the most amazing place in the world.


Reading to your child. Reading with your child. Taking trips to the library. Do those things and you’ll forge a bond as strong as the one I had with my mom.

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Neva Bryan, St. Paul, Virginia, USA

Contact: neva (at) nevabryan dot com

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