Booking Through Thursday: First Time


On Thursday, August 5th, Booking through Thursday asked:

What is the first book you remember reading? What about the first that made you really love reading?

As usual I’m a day late in answering the BTT prompt. Ah, well, I don’t do it to share my link, I do it because I like the questions. In this respect, internet memes are sort of like patio furniture – nice to have there waiting when you need it, but not something you can’t function without.

Books, on the other hand, are essential to life – or at least, they are to my life.

I don’t remember learning to read. I don’t remember struggling with words. I’m not even entirely certain what my very first book was. I’m not sure if it’s the first book I ever read, but certainly one of the earliest books in my memory is A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. Some of the poems are silly, some are still wonderful but all are indelibly engraved on my heart, if not entirely in my memory.

I remember reciting some of those poems with my grandmother, “I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me, and what can be the use of him is more than I can see…” She always smelled of summer: roses and violets and Oil of Olay, and her voice never devolved into baby talk, but she did accent words from time to time.

The book that really made me love the written word though, is more difficult to identify. Was it A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, or should the honors go to Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? What about Little Women, which was the book that ended my nightly reading hour with my mother, in favor of reading to myself?

I come from a family of voracious readers. Sometimes we exchange books, or book recommendations; sometimes our tastes diverge, but no matter what, most of us, given a quiet hour and a mug of tea or coffee, can be found reading.

A Child's Garden of Verses