Monday, September 28, 2015

When Did YOU Fall in Love with Reading? - with Kathy Damp

I remember the smell of the wood floors, the dust of books and wood.
The Pine Hills Branch of Albany Public Library
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We lived on the top floor of this apartment building.

My love for reading began before I started kindergarten. At that time, as a one-car family, my mom packed up us three girls, bumped a stroller down five flights of stairs for a time, and stood us by the bus stop. Destination? The Pine Hills Library in Albany, New York for story time and checking out books.

From leaning all my young weight against the big wood and glass door to enter, the smell of wood and dust and the creaking floors, it was a different world. It seemed huge. Not sure if it's still there, but it would be fun to go back and see how big (or not) it seems now.
Make Way for Ducklings and Blueberries for Sal were filmstrips (Google "filmstrips" if needed) after the librarian read the book to us kids. Yep, sitting on the floor in front of her, necks stretched back to see all the illustrations, falling into the story, being on the Maine shores with Sal, worrying about the ducklings and grateful for that helpful policeman.

We girls learned to whisper in the library, fear and respect the librarian. After we moved to a small town in the Adirondack mountains, we leaped into each summer's reading program. [That preceding sentence required a leap into Google to see whether "leaped" or "leapt" was correct. Turns out either is.]

My mom read piles of books to us over the early years; then it was helping us sound out the words as emerging readers ("See Spot run. Run, Spot, run."), and finally turning us loose in the children's section.

 I moved on to Harriet the SpyCaddie WoodlawnA Wrinkle in Time.  Sweet Harlequin romance in junior high and high school, Georgette Heyer. Ah, reading.

My husband, on the other side of the bookshelf, so to speak, did not like to read, did not read well growing up. It wasn't until I got him a Kindle that he finally connected to reading...nonfiction. Although, as he likes to say, "I've read a romance once and liked it." (Yes, it was my Waiting for Sparks.)

So when and where did you fall in love with reading?

 

 

27 comments:

  1. I enjoyed your post, Kathy. I can't recall a time I wasn't reading!

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  2. What a great post, Kathy. I share some of those library memories--and Caddie Woodlawn.

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    1. My favorite part of Caddie Woodlawn was when the sheep ate all the buttons up the front of her obnoxious cousin.

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  3. I don't remember exactly when I fell in love with reading, but I do remember getting so excited about ordering books from that Scholastic newsletter that went home to parents. Remember those? I couldn't wait to get my brand new books. I always loved The Berenstain Bears and Clifford, the big red dog. Later I graduated to Judy Blume books. I specifically remember Are You There God it's Me Margaret. At one time I read a lot of true crime books, and all sorts of things in between. Reading is the best. Thanks for the memories.

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    1. Oh, the Scholastic newspaper. My mother, as a remedial reading teacher, was always in favor of buying books.

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  4. Kathy, I've always credited our small-town library run by volunteers as the catalyst for my love of reading. We were allowed to check out 4 books a week. My sister and I would each check out 4 and then we're read our books and each others. The books were all donated and looking back I am still grateful for the eclectic range of books on those shelves. I still love the smell of old books and furniture polish when I walk into a library.

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    1. How blessed you were to have diligent volunteers and people willing to donate books.

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  5. I found my first romance at the public library!

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    1. I did, too, Mel--a whole row of Avalons!

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    2. I'll say this until I die: I love libraries. Although, Mel Curtis, I am wondering if it was your first book of romance or a particular man?

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  6. My mother read to me and my brother while we sat on either side of her – Biblical stories, poetry and books from the town’s children’s library. By the fourth grade I read books on my own, but I have very little memory of the children’s library. I went from the basement to the main floor and decided I was going to read every book there. I did manage to get through a few hundred, mostly historical romance.

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  7. I think I fell in love with reading and all things books, the first time the bookmobile rolled into my neighborhood. I'll never forget the feeling, when I escaped the heat and humidity of that July day, into an air conditioned world of books on wheels.

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    1. Jill,
      What state was this in? I have always wanted to go into a bookmobile.

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  8. Great memories, Kathy! My parents read to me all the time - Little Golden Books. Then there was a small library in our classroom, and from there I sneaked my sister's Jane Austen (she didn't like to share with me then) and my dad's Zane Grey. In my early teens we lived two blocks from the public library - a modern structure in southern California, but put books and readers in it, and it smelled the same as an old one.

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    1. I was introduced to Georgette Heyer by our small town librarian when I complained I didn't like Jane Austen because the paragraphs were too long. I was in junior high. Much later, Jane Austen became a friend.

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  9. My mother indulged my reading habit. She let me order as many Scholastic books as I wanted, and volunteered at the local library every Saturday to put on a preschool story time. That meant I could spend the hour picking out books for for the next week when I wasn't running the film strip. (Now that dates me.) I think I read the entire section on horses. I still have an unreasonable attraction to wooden card catalog drawers.

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    1. When I was in sixth grade, we worked with guide words in the dictionary and I had a hard time with that. I remember the card catalog and pretty much starting with the first letter after the first letter of the first word I wanted and going through every card until I got to what I needed. Thankfully, guide words eventually sank in.

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  10. Oh.my.goodness. Not sure when I wasn't reading. I remember learning to read on the Sunday comic strips, then my mother taking me to the library before I started to school. I was so mad they wouldn't give me a card until I started first grade. Summers were spent under a shade tree reading. Even now with deadlines, I'll still sneak in a book. :-) Great post, Kathy.

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    1. Pat,
      Loved your comment about the library card. When I worked as a temporary at our library system, I think I was as excited as the five-year-old who could get her first library card. Some families made it a entire family event, which I really loved. Thanks for your post.

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  11. I grew up in India and my earliest memories are of curling up with the Nancy Drew series when I was around 8 or 9.

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    1. Sophia,

      Even though Nancy Drew should most probably be in my memory, there is actually a Nancy Drew audiobook on my phone. Right now. I love falling asleep listening to Nancy and her "chums".

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  12. Like you, I really loved A Wrinkle in Time, but it was my hoarding of our public library's collection that made me a reader and almost got me arrested :-)

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    1. So, Karen, have you mended your book hoarding ways? Do tell.

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    2. So, Karen, have you mended your book hoarding ways? Do tell.

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  13. I remember filmstrips. There was one about a doughnut making machine that wouldn't stop. I still remember the library of my childhood, too.

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  14. Thanks, Pamela, for your post. It's not time of the day when a donut sounds pretty good.

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