My mother gave me a magnificent gift. It wasn’t a tangible present. It was a hereditary gift.
No, not my rack, though that has been an awesome gift and I thank her for it frequently.
My mother passed down a love of reading to me. It wasn’t taught. I know this because she tried to cultivate it in my brother for years and years, to no avail. He simply could not be bothered.
I could though. I sat for hours, solving mysteries with Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew. I explored with Mary Lennox, Harriet Welsch, and Laura Ingalls. I played with Alcott’s Eight Cousins and cried with her Little Women. I preened in front of my mirror with Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield.
People assume because I enjoy reading, I must be extraordinarily intelligent. I’m not. My brother is whip smart, savvy and informed, even without devoting too many hours to the page. I simply have a wonderful imagination and whether that is a product of frolicking in Narnia or the cause of it, I cannot tell. I simply know books have always captivated me. I read everything, from Kundera to McNaught, and enjoy it equally.
Maybe it’s the escapism of it. I can’t say for sure, but I do know that in passing on this love, my mother gave me an secondary gift as well. I am seldom bored. If I have a book, magazine or newspaper, I am engaged. And when I don’t have anything to read? Here’s where it becomes interesting…
I write. I create worlds. Someday, perhaps a reader will enjoy living in those places for a time. I can dream.
Thank you, Mom. Thanks for the gift of reading, the delightful worlds it has introduced. Westeros, Pern, England and China all wait for me between those covers. A magical Underworld in Chicago, policed by werewolves and good wizards who sometimes do bad things for the right reasons. A steamy street in Budapest, where a magician learns his trade. New York, in 2055, where a dedicated policewoman solves bizarre murders with her billionaire husband.
I am a citizen of them all. A native of the library. A bookstore tourist.
What are you reading?