From the time I could hold a book and sound out the words, I have been addicted to reading. Books were my companions, my entertainment, my source of adventures outside my working-class, rural Arkansas upbringing. I had a happy childhood, but with three younger brothers, books were my escape to my own world of adventures and travel. I read on the school bus, under the covers by flashlight, outdoors beneath a tree, on car trips with my family. I’d have read at the dinner table had my mother allowed it. The library was a magical place for me. My mother helped me chose books from there that had been favorites of her own — Heidi, Alice in Wonderland, books by Louisa May Alcott and Laura Ingalls Wilder.
One of the highlights of my school memories were the days when our teachers handed out the Scholastic Books order forms! I pored over those forms, reading descriptions of the books for sale, carefully choosing the stories I most wanted to read, begging my mother for book money from our well-stretched budget. When the books arrived, I rushed home to hoard them in my room and read them over and over, savoring the stories, imagining the day when I could write books of my own. I still clearly remember some of my favorite Scholastic Books — Baby Island, The Ghost of Dibble Hollow, The Forgotten Door, The Runaway Robot, and probably my favorite, Follow My Leader. Anyone else remember any of them? I read them until the paper covers were ragged.
In my teens, I discovered romance — Harlequin books, Georgette Heyer Regencies, romantic suspense by Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Dorothy Eden, Phyllis Whitney. The childhood stories were left behind, but never forgotten. When my own children brought home their Scholastic Books order forms, I got excited all over again with remembered joy. And I was delighted to find a few of my old favorites still available for them, so they read some of them, too. I know both the girls loved Baby Island as much as I did, and David read The Runaway Robot several times. Just as my mother had shared her love of reading with me, I did the same with our children. We read together, visited bookstores frequently, attended midnight releases of the Harry Potter books, loaded books in tote bags whenever we left for car trips. And occasionally, I had to fuss at one of them (especially Kerry) for reading when she was supposed to be doing something else (like cleaning her room or practicing piano) … but I always did so with a hidden smile of reminiscence.
While I’ve been with our daughter in Seattle, I’ve had the chance to read quite a bit on public transportation and in waiting rooms. I’m reading now on the Kindle Fire I received for Christmas, and have to admit I’m loving it! It’s like having an entire library in my bag at all times, so handy. But I will always have a weakness for those tattered paperbacks ordered from the brownish-paper Scholastic Books order forms. And I’d really love to read The Ghost of Dibble Hollow again! (Which, unfortunately, is out of print now).
Remember to check my home page above for information about my newest releases, WAKE ME and HUSBAND FOR A WEEKEND. The Books tab has convenient links to re-releases of most of my older titles.
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