Sunday, November 12, 2017

When Did I Love Reading?

After 51 years on the planet and thinking about when stories and books first hit my life... it dawned on me that it was always there. My mama read to me and my sister from a young age, before we ever started school, each afternoon while we waited on my Dad to get home from work for supper. She would let us pick two storybooks each. Much to her dismay I am sure, we picked the same books a lot of the time. I was fond of DONKEY DONKEY, a story about a sad little Donkey finding his way home, and HOW FLETCHER WAS HATCHED, a story about a hound dog that gets neglected when his little girl owner falls for the newly hatched chickens so he and his friends on the farm plan an egg for him to hatch out of so his little mistress will love him again and it works.

When I started school, the weekly trips to the library opened a whole new world. I went through 3 to 5 storybooks a week most often about animals. And I believe around third grade Santa Claus brought me the whole set of LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE. The television series was new then and my family and I watched it every week. These books brought me the whole pioneer world that matched my love of camping and fishing as a child. I pretended to be Laura Ingalls Wilder when my friends and I played what we called "Old timey house."

Summer Mom carried me and my sister to the library and book stores, which was a perfect way to spend time for me. I brought home stacks of books every two weeks and was always sad when summer ended.

But I remember distinctly in 5th grade picking up my first novel type book. It was fairly thick according to me at that time and was called SCRUB DOG OF ALASKA. I had read lots of books but never one that I got so lost in the story I forgot I was sitting there reading it. That might have been the real beginning where I then always had a book in my hands.

Middle school brought bigger, better books and it was about that time I started sneaking the romance novels off my Granny's shelf every time we visited. Those books ,while educational in more ways than one, spun stories of adventure along with the romance. I fell in love with the historical novels especially the cowboy, pirates and highlanders. Sigh...

And high school became full of the stories we had to read in English. While the other kids moaned and groaned, I only pretended to and enjoyed many of those required stories though I always crept back to romance. Every woman needs a hero and I found them in those stories all the way through until college when nursing school put a halt on reading for fun. Nursing school was classes all week with two eight hour clinicals and more reading required in a week than possible in a month. Becoming a registered nurse is not for the meek!

And eventually college was behind me but it was probably a year or more before I would read a novel for fun. But once I discovered there was life after nursing school I picked up a few more books and, of course, went back to romance thinking...yep I remember how I loved this. And the rest is history.

It surprises me since I have started writing how many people are quick to say "oh, I don't read romance" like someone will think less of you because romance stories often get the "trash" or "not real writing" labels. My guess is most do or have and aren't willing to admit it. Walk down the beach and a lot of folks are reading...check out the titles...romance will be every other book. And for those who think romances aren't written well try to write one and get it passed an editor. People's reading preferences differ that is for sure but I kinda get tired of the instant reaction to the idea of defending oneself against the idea of a romance novel...just what is it you are afraid of? Me? Not a darn thing when I choose my reads.

And now my girls are reading novels and that is cool! I might suck a hard breath in when I see them with a romance in the future but unless it's off the chain filthy I will probably not say a word. Love is found in most of the romances I have read and I think that is a good thing! Read on!

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