Reading Matters

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
A grandmother's reading example reaps dividends to a child.

Submitted: October 24, 2018

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Submitted: October 24, 2018



Blanche, my grandmother, understood children.  She'd taught school in rural North Carolina for a brief time, mothered four daughters, and babysat countless children to make ends meet as an older widow.

When I was five, she came to live with my mom, baby brother, and me.  Who else knew how to please a child by cubing hot buttered toast?  She allowed me to gather the beautiful acorns from the oak by our apartment building.  These I carefully dropped into a brown grocery bag for safe keeping—a treasure.  Though I took them to our shared bedroom, they discreetly disappeared after an appropriate interval.  

Blanche told me I looked like an angel when I slept.  Indeed, she was the angel—my special angel.  She loved raisen bran, Eight O'Clock coffee, and told us lots about her dentures, bunions, and how important it was to stay right in your heart.  Each morning, she  began the day by extracting a bible passage printed on a wee card from a small box on the kitchen table.

I'll never forget how she read to me at night from the Adventures of Brer Rabbit book.  She would successfully adopt the voice of each animal character, leaving me enthralled and wary of briar patches.  Living near a road in our city named Briar Creek Rd., I imagined these characters being part of our very city.

As soon as I could write my name, she took me to our local branch to get my own library card.  A red letter day in my young life, that experience produced many dividends over the ensuing years.  Undoubtedly, it contributed to my desire to be a writer.

Today, I salute all adults who take young children to libraries to get their first library cards, and speak the voices correctly when they read out loud to kids.  Happy reading; and stay right in your heart!

(When did you first read?  Who introduced you to books?  What role has reading played in your own writing interests?)

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