There is so much that I am thankful for this time of year: my spouse, my family, my friends, good health. However, because this blog is about books, I want to especially express my gratitude for the love of reading instilled in me by my parents.
Neither one of my parents had more than an eighth-grade education, yet my father was an avid reader. My mother was never a big fan of books, but she read to her children. I have clear memories of her sharing with me the Grimms’ Fairy Tales. In her slight Spanish accent, she pronounced Rapunzel “Rapunzela,” and a dog’s bark was always “wow-wow,” the Spanish-language version of “bow-wow.” She took her kids to the library; in his retirement, my father became a regular library user.
I didn’t learn to read in school. I was placed in the first grade at a Catholic school without attending kindergarten first, and I was behind my classmates who already knew how to read. I felt lost. My older sister and brother understood my predicament and decided to help. They took me to the beautiful downtown Pasadena Pubic Library every day after school and gave me reading lessons. Even though I was only five years old, I was frustrated that I was struggling to learn to read.
To this day, I can feel the sense of triumph that overcame me when I read a complete page and understood every word for the first time. What a thrill!
The love of reading has never left me. I treasure the ability to read, and I treasure books. Thank you, Daddy, Mom and my siblings.