I was the first reader in the family - well, not literally, for they all knew how to read, my parents, and grandparents. They certainly were good readers. They just didn't love it, didn't have to do it they way I did (and do), didn't become agitated and restless if there was no book available to hold onto, to dive into, to inhale deeply into the brain like the smoker sucks deep whorls of tobbaco into the lungs. Books - words- images- ideas - have always been life's blood to me.
Where did that come from then, that need to read? I know where the music came from, that was easy, from my grandmother, who would sit at my piano when she thought no one was listening and play glorious hymn tunes straight from her inner ear to her fingers, no printed music on the page for a go-between. And perhaps the reading was from her as well, for she was the one who was always ready to pull me onto her lap and open the book, even if it was the middle of the night and I was up with croup yet again. Likely there was little reading time for her, the eldest of seven, in that country farmhouse with so many chores to be done each day. Perhaps, had she had my advantage, of the library down the road, and the bookstore up the street, she too would have developed a strong addiction to the printed word, the one that sends little frissons of excitment up my spine everytime I walk into Borders.
I am the reader in my family now...where will that reading gene end up next?