If you ask anyone who knows me, or even someone who is simply an acquaintance, “what is she like?” every one of them will say about me “…a bookworm.” But I wasn’t always a bookworm. Once upon a time, I was a pretty princess, Barbie doll-loving, little girl.
It is my mother who should be credited (or blamed) for my now almost obsessive book devouring. Around the time my siblings and I reached school age….maybe six…., my mother began to read the Harry Potter books to us. She read to us almost every night, at first because she wanted us to hear the book before seeing the movie, but eventually becoming a common occurrence.
We read in the warm, woodsy porch, the golden light of the late afternoon sun shining through the windows, her voice rising and falling as she spoke. We would listen, wide-eyed and utterly captured, as her voice created a world where magic was possible, and wizards were as easy to find as a ladybug in our lawn; you just had to know where to look. I loved to listen to her read, sometimes for up to an hour. Even after her voice grew hoarse from constant use, stopping would mean a tirade of protests. Eventually, I began to read them by myself.
I would sit in the sunny porch, on our maroon leather sofa, reading the Harry Potter books over and over again. But even when I read the book we currently were reading, I would not read ahead of Mom; that was sacred territory. I would read for what seems like forever to the child me; although in reality, it was probably only a half hour. I even have a picture of me at seven, reading The Goblet of Fire. Seeing it almost nine years later brings back so many memories.
We would always wait, full of barely suppressed anticipation, for the release of the next book. My siblings, my mother, and I got to the point where we would count down the days until Mom would get our pre-ordered book and my siblings and I always tried to make her read it to us right away. Reminiscing these fond memories of our times together makes me feel the freedom that early childhood seems to be full of. Learning to love reading from my mother will always be my favorite memory of her. Back then, I would have never thought that simply hearing her read every night would someday seem significant to me, but it did.
My mother has given me a precious gift, the gift of appreciating a good book.