This week I went to an event hosted by Book Trust Vino & Libri (seriously wine & books – two of my favorite things) – they make sure grade school kids who don’t have the money to buy books are able to get at least 2 new books per month. In many cases, the first book they receive is the first book that’s ever been in their home and the first thing they’ve ever owned.
Their video made me a bit teary eyed.
One keynote speaker was a 5th grader who was more articulate than most college graduates. He loves books. Yes. I cried. They started in Colorado, one of their goals is to impact 1 million kids, soon. Currently 34,000. The other keynote speaker was Terrance Carroll, former Speaker of the House of Representatives for Colorado, born to a 51 year old single mother (yes 51).
I grew up with books, surrounded by readers. My grandfather used to read me National Geographic or the Encyclopedia. But so many books shaped me. I have always been a reader. I remember that a childhood friend, Lisa, was taught to read before I was. And I was so angry at my mother that she taught me to read pretty much immediately. At least that’s how I recall it. The first book I remember clearly is the 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss and the exclamation “such impudence.” Those were big words in pre-school and I loved how she would enunciate it. And I remember having her read it to me again, and again, and again. I knew every word and still wanted it read to me. Again. Thanks Mom. She must HATE this book.
Side note: I still have it, it is worn and ragged. And, confess, that I colored on the front and back covers. This shames me. But, I will have this book until I die.
I spent most of my allowance money on math puzzles and books. So many books. I read every installment of the Bobsey Twins, Nancy Drew and most of the Hardy Boys. I learned about sex and came of age reading Judy Blume and Xaviera Hollander (the happy hooker). These two things do not go together. I also had unchaperoned TV. No, I do not recommend letting your 6 to 8 year old watch a Clockwork Orange, or any child, ever. Stanley Kubrick makes unforgettable movies. I wish I could forget that one.
I read pretty much every single Larry Niven, Robert Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, Arthur C. Clark and Issac Asimov book ever written by the time I turned 20. Elon Musk is making all of this real, today.
I started trying to understand my mother reading the early serial romance novels of Nora Roberts but got hooked on her futurist police procedurals written as JD Robb. Yes, I buy these on the day they are published, and stay up all night reading them until the end.
Through most of grade school, high school, college, and graduate school, I think I slurped down about a book a day. Yes slurped. First read = slurp; second (or third) read = savor. I lived in books. I used to have thousands. Mostly now I have them as virtual books, on the iPad, in a Kindle reader. It’s not the same, but it’s tidier.
I love what Book Trust is doing.