Saturday, August 4, 2012

Reading Inspiration

Today is the one-year anniversary of my Grama's death. I won't go into it too much, because I wrote this post on my other blog, but I wanted to acknowledge it here on my book blog as well because she's a big part of the reason I do what I do.

I come from a family of readers. My mum loves to read, and my dad and grandparents loved to read. I had tons of books as a kid, and often got books as presents. I loved it when my parents or Grama read to me. Before my dad died, we had this weekly routine where we went to the post office, which was in the back of a drug store that had a kids' book display. Every week I was allowed to choose a new Berenstein Bear book. I collected all the ones written up to 1994 and a few afterward, and I still have them. They're well-worn and well-loved, and they're my go-to book when I have kids around.

My love of reading fuelled my love of writing. I don't think I would have become a writer if I hadn't been such an avid reader, so I have my parents and grandparents - my mum and Grama in particular - to thank for that. Reading has always been a natural part of life. When my Grama was in the nursing home, the library had a program where they sent large print books to seniors every three weeks. She could read eight library books in those three weeks, and often had to have us bring her more, or the nurses would bring books in for her, or she'd go down the library in the nursing home and pick something (this was as well as knitting, painting, and participating in all the activities in the nursing home). 

She read right up until the time she died. In fact, two nights before she died, while she was in the hospital confined to bed and couldn't see well enough to read or hold up a book, she said to my mum and me 'I'm so annoyed, wasting all this time lying here when I could be reading or painting or knitting.' We cracked up, and still talk about that to this day. She loved to be busy, and she loved to lose herself in a good book. Oh, did I mention that she was almost 100 when she died?

I feel really blessed to have grown up in a home that encouraged reading. It makes me sad to see kids today that are hooked on video games, computers, TVs, and other gadgets. My ten-year-old nephew is one of those kids and whenever he's away from his electronics, he complains constantly about being bored. My response: "READ A BOOK!" He just shrugs; he's not growing up in a house that encourages reading, so it's foreign to him and that breaks my heart. I've always said that when I have kids, I'll be reading to them while they're in the womb! I want them to experience the pleasure reading has brought me - it's been an escape, it's kept me sane, and it's helped me travel the world when I'm stuck in my little city.

Who or what inspired you to read? A family member? A teacher? A friend? Something/someone else? I'd love hear from you!


  1. What a wonderful story. Such happy memories and lovely to know she is inspired you to read. My grandmother did the same and I still mark the passing of her death each year. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. What a great way to remember her!

  3. I'm so glad you included a photo with this post. My older sister is the one who motivated me to read. She read tons and I copied her, eventually branching out into my own favorite genres.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about your Grama, Marie. It sounds like she was an amazing woman! Now she can live on in your love of reading and writing :)

  5. I love the story of you and your Grama. It warms my heart. :)

    I'm not sure what started my love of reading. My parents did some encouraging, even though they aren't avid readers. I was one of the first kids in school to learn to read, and I was usually reading levels higher than my peers. I've had moments off and on where I didn't read as much, but I'm glad I've gotten back to it now.

    I am always encouraging reading. My best friend had a son last year and I've been constantly offering to get him books. :)

  6. What a touching story Marie! Thanks so much for sharing it with us - your grandma must have been a fantastic person and I'm so glad you had someone like her to inspire you. ♥

    And I know what you mean about kids nowadays. I mentioned it in one of my discussion posts a few months ago and the fact that I don't know anyone who's liked reading from an early age. It's sad, but true. Lots of people said it's not and they've loved reading ever since they can remember but it's not the case here. I just wish everyone had a grandma like yours :) xxx

  7. What a great story, Marie! I honestly can't think of what inspired me to read ... I'm thinking it must have been the librarians at my schools growing up. When I hit university, I was an English minor and signed up for every single class that had books to read ... I loved every second of it!

    I love that you have all of the Bernstein Bears books you had when you were young! I remember reading Archie comics with my brothers ... then Babysitter's Club and Sweet Valley High. I wish I had some of those now!

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. I was born premature, and had to stay in the hospital for 3 months so I could gain enough weight to go home. (I was 1lb 12 ounces when I was born.) My mom taped herself reading a lot of fairy tales and such and would bring those tapes and play them for me sometimes, plus she'd read to me. Obviously I don't remember that but I DO remember her reading to me when I was 3 or 4, and I was the FIRST kid in my kindergarten class to read. I brought a book to school for show and tell and read it to the class.

    After that...I was a reader for life. :)

    I love this post, Marie. It's so so cool to see who all in your life inspired you. And RIP to your sweet Grama!


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