When I brought home those four boxes of books, I opened the first box and was blown away with what I found. It brought back memories of the happy times of my childhood.
So what did I find?
The first book I’ve ever read.
When I was a child, Sunday mornings used to be our family’s weekly reading times. I would wake up and stroll into the living room to find my mother on the couch, book in hand. My grandma on the recliner, Harlequin novel in hand. And my father on the loveseat, newspaper or philosophy book in hand.
I was the only one in my family who didn’t inherit the love for books.
My family tried to convince me books were enjoyable. Especially my mother, who kept telling me the plots of her favorite books. She reminded me over and over of fictional people living though hardship, losing their loved ones, and dying tragic deaths.
Yeah, because as a preteen, I really wanted to read about horrible lives and tragic deaths. *rolling eyes*
Okay, so my mother was a bit mislead in the children like happy endings department. You see, my family is from Lithuania (it’s in Europe, next to Poland) and Lithuanian fairy tales all end tragically. Maybe one of these days I’ll share with you some of those fairy tales.
Me, growing up in the US, I was used to stories where Cinderella got the Prince in the end, and the Beast (in Beauty and the Beast) lived in the end.
It was around my thirteenth birthday that my mother and grandmother took me to K-Mart and forced me into the book isle. They positioned me in front of the children’s books and simply said “Pick one.”
I stared at the book covers for what felt like forever. Which tragic, bad ending story will I choose?
Then, a few covers caught my eye. They were shiny and creepy. The author, RL Stine, was a popular name at that time in children’s horror. Horror was better than tragedy, right?
Amongst all the RL Stine book covers, two in particular pulled me in. They had animals on the cover, and I loved animals.
I picked both of the books up. Studied the covers, read the blurbs. Both seemed interesting, although if I really had to choose, I would go with Cat.
My mother and grandma were so happy to see me holding two books that they bought me both.
So that was where my love affair with books started. With RL Stine’s Cat, which was the first book I’ve ever read.
After I read those two books, I begged my mother to buy me more RL Stine books. I became a reader, a fan of the written word.
How did your love affair with paper begin?