Where is your favorite place to read?
#BlogHerWritingLab – Monday, April 18, 2016
Where is your favorite place to read?
I do not remember a moment in my life when Reading did not play a major role.
I remember my Mom reading to me on our little couch each evening when we lived in Boston. I was 3, 4, 5 years old.
I remember the pile of Golden Books that meant so much to my Mom and Dad. I remember The Poky Little Puppy. I wanted to have a curious puppy like him, and I would, too, much later on in my life.
When we moved to California and I entered school, Reading became a major focus of my day, both in school and at home. My Mom snuggled us kids on that same couch, but now 3,000 miles away from Boston, every single night. To Read. I remember turning the pages and my Mom’s lovely voice, even if I don’t remember many of the books or illustrations.
I just remember magical transport to so, so many places and times with so, so many characters.
When I was entering 4th grade, my family moved to New Hampshire. By this time in my life, I was a completely independent Reader. My Mom brought us kids to the town library every week and we were allowed to take out 3 books. During the summer, I think every kid in town belonged to the Summer Reading Club. We were each given a “caterpillar” with a winding little body of circles. When a book was finished, we would sit with a librarian and discuss the book. If it was abundantly clear that a book was actually read (it never occurred to me that kids would cheat about Reading. What?), we were given a colored dot to fill in the caterpillar. I always filled in my caterpillar’s entire body. Just saying.
Those library books were gold to me. Nancy Drew. Biographies of people I found interesting. I had my own bedroom, my own reading light, more pillows than I needed and so many, many places to go and people to meet within the pages of my books.
My bedroom, my bed, was my reading sanctuary. It was on the second floor of our home. The room had 2 windows, each with wonderful breezes in the summer and close enough to the main road to hear snow plows trudging along on snowy, winter nights. I don’t know if the sounds and breezes made Reading in that bedroom so much more perfect, but I’ll never forget the calm of them as I was transported to so, so many places and times with so many characters.
I remember reading the story of Jim Thorpe. I remember reading the ending of that story, Thorpe being stripped of his medals by the International Olympic Committee. I remember sobbing into my pillow and my Dad coming into my bedroom to see what was wrong. I remember my Dad sitting on the edge of my bed and consoling me as we talked for a long, long time.
My family would move again when I was entering 8th grade, this time to Rhode Island. As a full-fledged adolescent, Reading became even more of a sanctuary to me. I had my own bedroom again, but it wasn’t situated to have the delicious breezes of summer or much snow plow peace on winter nights. I did have my own bookcase, though, and I piled it high with books to read and books on-deck. I remember reading The Bounty Trilogy late into nights, to this moment my favorite books of all time, propped up on my too many pillows. My 11-year old grandson William recently asked what’s my favorite trilogy or series. I explained. I saw his intrigue. I bought him this and I can’t wait to discuss it with him…
I remember reading poetry and Shakespeare and mysteries and biographies while listening to my records on my very own record player in that very teenager-ish bedroom.
Then, in a blink of an eye, I was in college. I commuted at first, finding studying and Reading at the college library as comforting as my childhood bedroom. I loved the light, the study cubicles, the quiet noise, the shuffling of both feet and pages. I loved the windows, the light of day or the dark of evening, something always going on. I was an English major, so there were lots and lots of books to read and lots of papers to write. When I moved into a dorm, I still found the library my place to be. It felt like breezes and snow plows, I guess.
In another blink of an eye, I was married, teaching high school English and working toward my Master’s Degree in Reading at Boston University. Go figure!
My husband and I spent lots of hours perusing our local library and reading next to each other in bed. Our 4 children would become Readers. Our 11, soon-to-be 12 grandchildren are our greatest gifts and our greatest joy is to shower these precious kids with books. Books and Books and more Books.
All the while, my husband and I have loved to read in bed, in the sanctuary of our bedroom.
As fate would have it, we moved 4 years ago into a little house in a charming New England town. We’ve just completed some renovations, one such project in our *little bedroom, busting through a closet to an outside wall where we built a little door that leads to a little deck where the breezes are as remarkable and as glorious as the breezes in my little childhood New Hampshire bedroom…
And oh, the front window faces the main street of our town where I can hear the snow plows trudging along on snowy, winter nights. Breezes and snow plows, I guess, mean everything…
A full and wonderful Reading circle, I’d say… with the addition of a little porta-crib for grandbaby sleepovers, too!
*One little note is that we need two reading lights over our bed. I recently discovered “Save Your Marriage Reading Lights” – LOL! We might give them an “individually directional and dimmable” peek, Honey!