When I was five years old, I leaned over my brother's shoulder as my mother listened to him read. I followed along and became entranced with the written word.
Living twelve miles from town and spending long, lonely summers without friends, I read a lot. When we made the trip to the grocery store, I'd beg to go to the library. I'd gather up as many books as they'd allow me to borrow at a time and haul the home to read. Reading was my window in to worlds I'd never be able to see otherwise.
In grade school my favorite books were by Lois Lenski, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Marguerite Henry. Middle school I read the Nancy Drew mysteries, books by Walter Farley, and started reading the Gothics. In high school I read mysteries and picked the fattest, fiction books I could find. I wanted the stories to last me longer than a couple days. That's when I first read Gone With the Wind. Then, as a innocent young girl, I was swept away in the angst and tragedy of the war. Reading the book as an adult, I have to say Scarlet gets on my nerves. ;)
I spent many nights under the covers of my bed with a flashlight reading when I was supposed to sleeping. My Saturday morning job was vacuuming. I usually did the chore while reading. While my brothers fished, I read a book. While the family watched TV, I read a book.
While in college I didn't have time for reading for fun. But once I was a young wife with small children, I picked up my habit with a vengeance. I was a regular at the local library and read every mystery I could find. When I found an author I liked, I read every book in the library by them.
After a while, I thought, I can write a mystery. I'd had several incidents in high school and college where my writing had caught the teachers interest. I took writing classes at the community college and tried to hook up with mystery writing people. I didn't have much luck and found a romance writer organization that helped writers. I switched my writing to romance and am now published.
The only down-side to becoming a published author, I have so little time to read. I read, but mostly for research for the next book I'm writing. I miss reading for the pure joy of reading and have decided to make 2015 the year I read more for pleasure. Right now I'm reading The Round House by Louise Erdrich and am finding the joy in reading just like I did as a five-year-old.
What are you reading? Were you always a reader or did you come to it late in life?
Writing into the Sunset