― S.I. Hayakawa
When I was a young child, my grandmother, Rose, always had books around her house. She wasn’t the one who introduced me to reading, but she fostered my reading in a wonderful way. Whenever I would visit her, which was as often as I could, we would walk down to the neighborhood Horn and Hardart’s restaurant for lunch. Everyone loved the comfort food of H & H, and I was no exception, but my real comfort came in the little Doubleday bookstore that was several doors down.
It was there I found my first Nancy Drew book, The Hidden Staircase, and I became hooked on reading. From then on, after each lunch, I could pick out one book from this never ending series to add to my collection. We would go back to my grandmother’s house and read together until it was time to cook dinner. These memories always bring a smile to my face as I think of this woman who shared her joy of reading with me so many years ago.
When I became a mother I felt that sharing my grandmother’s joy of reading would be the perfect gift for Mike and Beth. Arthur and I read to them while they were in the womb and continued that practice, daily, until they could read on their own. I remember taking Mike to Toys R Us when he turned four. He picked out several toys, games and books for his birthday. Later that day, as we sat together I offered to read one of the books to him. He brought one over, climbed next to me and with a smile proceeded to read the entire book to me. Apparently he had been paying very close attention to Sesame Street and had taught himself to read.
When his little sister was two Mike set up a classroom in our house and went to work teaching her to read, too. “Come on Beth,” he would yell, “ you don’t want to be the dumbest kid in kindergarten.” Beth was three when she read her first words, and she quickly became obsessed with reading. Her pre-school teacher used to have her read to her class each day and rewarded her with time on the “big kid’s playground.” Grandma Rose’s legacy runs through the generations in our family, but it didn’t stop there.
When I became an English teacher, I was determined to share my love of books with my students. My classrooms always had bookshelves with “just for fun” books that the kids could borrow. As I used to tell them, there is no such thing as a person who doesn’t like to read. There are only those who have yet to find the right book to turn them on to reading. That was my job, and I took it seriously. I may not have reached them all, but I am pretty sure that I hooked a few more students to the vice that has given me years of joy and comfort.
So you see, reading and reviewing books became a natural progression for me. I am never without a book, and my electronic devices make carrying around my entire library a breeze. This blog allows me to share my finds with you, and I hope, in turn, you are sharing these suggestions with others. Yep, I can imagine the smile on my grandmother’s face if she knew the domino effect her love of reading has had on people through the years. Here’s hoping you all find the same comfort that I do in the written word.
David Rosenfelt is definitely one of those authors whose books allow me to escape for a bit, and his newest Andy Carpenter novel, Bark of Night is no exception. This book, due out this month, will allow you another visit with Rosenfelt’s sarcastic attorney and his eccentric team as they solve yet another dog populated mystery.
As always, a complete review of this book follows my blog.