Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and I have my mother to thank for being a booklover.
My mom has always fostered my love of books. In grade school, I remember my siblings and I being really excited whenever we brought home a Scholastic book order form. Mom always allowed us to choose one book to order. It seemed like it took forever for the books to arrive, but when they did, whichever book I had ordered was usually read within a day or so. At that rate, Mom couldn’t afford to keep buying me books.
Library cards came to the rescue! Public library cards, school library cards…I think mom figured I couldn’t exhaust my choice of books if I had both. The public library allowed us to check out books for up to 2 weeks. I don’t remember what the maximum number of books was that we were allowed to check out, but I never went home without a stack of them.
My dad gets a little bit of credit, too. When we were kids, he would load us up on Saturday morning and drive an hour or more to a used bookstore he had discovered. If I close my eyes, I can still conjure up a vision of that big white building, filled with rows and rows of bookshelves stuffed with paperbacks. I can still smell the slightly musty odor of old books. I miss those days…
Somewhere along the line, I started writing. Mom found a folder of those early writings awhile back and gave them to me. I flipped through the folder, rediscovering two of my favorites: a story about wild horses, and a class assignment in which we had to “travel” through history as a car with each historical event represented by another type of car. That was a fun assignment that taught me a little about perspective.
I remember penning short stories and poetry before I discovered romance novels. I told Mom I wanted to be a romance novelist and she encouraged me. We talked about how much fun we would have traveling together, with me writing and she helping me do research for my books. The best laid plans…
I still write and Mom still encourages me, but I’m sorry to admit our plans to travel together never materialized. Our lives got in the way. Mom is no spring chicken but she still reads and we share books we love and talk about our favorite authors. I wish I would have pursued that dream much earlier in my life, so Mom and I would have had that time together.
Books are an important part of my life, and I am thankful my mom introduced me to them. Maybe for Mother’s Day this year I will take her to the bookstore and return the favor. She doesn’t need more “stuff” in her life, but giving the pleasure of reading is something she can keep or pass on as she chooses.
Has your mom influenced your love of books? Share?