Growing up, reading books was just something we did. My parents put books in my crib in the mornings so when I woke up at some ungodly hour, I would be entertained for a while, so they got to sleep in. My mother tells a story of a neighbour being amazed that I was sitting in the yard and reading at such a young age (I was around two at the time). My mom didn't have the heart to tell the neighbour that I had memorized all the words because the book had been read to me about five million times.
We only had a tiny black and white TV until I left home - my parents only went to colour when it their old black and white finally broke down and it was going to be way more to replace the tubes in it than to buy a brand new one. Our activity in the evening after supper, once homework was complete was to sit in the living room, each of us absorbed in our own books rather than watch anything on our old black and white no cable television.
My parents were not fantasy and science fiction readers (they still aren't), so that wasn't the kind of books I had on hand. Growing up I devoured the Agatha Christies and the contemporary fiction they had, and of course went often to the library. I don't know how old I was when I discovered Z for Zachariah, but at that point I was hooked. And post-apocalyptic fic is still my number 1 favorite. The Hobbit was my first fantasy book followed by Lord of the Rings and then a host of Piers Anthony books and then everything I could lay my hands on.
All through my teen years and beyond fantasy and sci-fi were my bread and butter books, the ones I took out from the library, the ones I bought at the store, the ones I devoured.
It makes me wonder, though, if I had never read Z for Zachariah or the Hobbit, would mysteries still be my favorite genre? How much of an influence do the books that we read in our younger years have over us as adults? I know one of my favorite TV genres are the cop shows. Is that because I grew up with Encyclopedia Brown and Agatha Christie?
My folks didn't read as much horror as other genres (or maybe they just didn't let me find those to read until I was older) but I found my first Stephen King while working as a shelver at the library and checked out everything they had by him. A lot of the books I read in my later teens were picked up while shelving at the library. I was supposed to be emptying my cart by putting the books away where they belonged on the shelves, but a lot of them wound up in my own personal check it out pile.
I have about forty boxes full of books in the basement that I know I should probably go through and keep only the ones I love the most or haven't read yet and give the rest away, but just the thought of giving away books makes my stomach clench. I have always dreamed of having a room as a library in my home, with wall to wall to wall to wall shelves where I could put all my books. And while I'm an avid TV watcher (I blame the fact that we watched next to no television growing up) if you pushed me and said I had to choose between television and books, I would have to go with books.
This rambling post about reading in general is brought to you by the letter R and the fact that I couldn't think of a specific book or books that I wanted to chat about. I need summer to be over, then I should have a brain again.
Happy Humping Day!
smut fixes everything