Monday, October 17, 2011

The Enduring Impact of Childhood Reading

My favorite memory (or collection of memories) was bedtime reading with my dad. We'd sit in his recliner. (The one we replaced just last year for his birthday.) And he'd read a chapter from The Chronicles of Narnia and Mr. Twig's Big Mistake. Were there more? I don't remember though there must have been. How long did it go on? Not past 4th grade (we moved that year), but it endures in my memory.

Later in my childhood, I loved The Babysitters' Club books. (I hope FYA brings back their reviews!) The stacks of them that I checked out are one of my first real library memories. I read quite of a bit of Nancy Drew and borrowed some of those books from an aunt. My mom introduced to be Mrs. Polifax. I still look for Mrs. Polifax books and really need to add them to our collection. I wonder if they're in e-book format. I most recently read The Unexpected Mrs. Polifax one night at my grandma's when the power went out and I had quite effectively freaked myself out.

When I started college, I freaked out on syllabus day and plunged into the Chronicles of Narnia for the next three days. When I emerged on the other side of The Last Battle, life was better. It then became my habit to reread Narnia every fall at the beginning of school.

The morning after we moved to Cincinnati, Mike went out with his family and I found Target and bought Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

The books of my childhood helped me figure out how to cope with my adult life. It's scary out there, but if the characters of my childhood can make it to the end of their books successfully, I can make it too.

I've crossposted at Via Scribendi.

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