I don’t remember this, but when I was an infant, before I could even talk, my parents would lay me down on a blanket on our living room floor and read out loud to me. I laughed and kicked my feet, and when they stopped reading, I screamed and cried. Being the first baby, my parents put up with this, and even enjoyed it.
Things progressed from there. In kindergarten, my dad read me The Hobbit every night before bed in the rocking chair in my room, me on his lap, begging for one more page.
The next year, as I was starting to learn words like cat and pot in 1st grade, my mom read me Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphin. By that time, my two younger brothers were beginning to demand a lot of her attention, and she never read to me long enough before she left to change a diaper or get a sippy cup of water for one of my siblings.
I began to read the book myself after she left, slowly at first, skipping the words I didn’t know, but eventually getting chapters ahead of my mom. From then on, I devoured books, taking them to school and reading them on the bus and at recess, after school and late into the night under my covers with a flashlight. I read books to my little brothers, checked my own books out at the library, and was soon on a first name basis with the librarians, who always liked the challenge of finding a good book for me that I hadn’t read. And that’s how I fell in love with reading.