Do you remember the day you first got hooked on books and reading? I do. There is not a week that goes by that I don’t think back to that day. One Saturday in 1968 my Dad took me to the library on Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps Air Station (where he was stationed at the time). I found the children’s section…which I can still see in my mind…and the Bobbsey Twins books. I pulled The Bobbsey Twins’ of Lakeport from the shelf and started reading. I read it the whole way home, after dinner, and finished it just before it was time for bed. I was in love…I had to have more. The next morning I asked Dad if he could take me back to the library for another book. He then informed me that because it was Sunday the library was closed! I remember being aghast (can an 8 year-old be aghast?)! How could they do this to me…how did they expect me to wait until Monday…and not just Monday, but after school on Monday? The Horror!!!
Long story short, I bore the disappointment, I survived the trauma. I learned the lesson of never taking out only one book at a time! Soon I went through the Bobbsey Twins and the Boxcar Children like a hot knife through butter. I wish I still had some of those books, but one of the things you learn as a military brat is to travel light. The only books that have survived those days were my absolute favorites at the time, that I refused to give up…The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Mrs. Mike, and the Killer Angels.
I always try to have a book with me wherever I go, just in case the opportunity to read comes up. But over time I’ve developed a new problem…when it comes to books I never learned how to pace myself. I will finish a book, often in less than a day, only to find myself without another to read. Bereft, adrift, until the library opens, the bookstore comes into view, the mail arrives with my latest purchase.
So, the question is, when do you discover that you had to read and like me you crave books, you need books like you need air?
I have to go now…my kindle is staring at me and I am wracked with guilt for neglecting it.