Friday, June 10, 2011

First Book Ever

The other day, my mother was cleaning her house when she decided to throw all of my things into a box and return them to me. You see, when I moved out, I never actually FULLY moved out. I left over 100 books there. Now, she had me bring all those books into my tiny house.

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?


  1. That is so cool that you got all your old books back.

    I think the first book I remember is a Mother Goose rhymes book, but the one I picked out for myself was A Wrinkle In Time.

  2. Oh, that is such a wonderful story. Love it. And so glad you still have those first books.

    I don't ever remember not liking to read, but I think my book love affair began with Dr. Seuss. My mom entered my sisters and I in the Dr. Seuss Book-of-The-Month Club. We couldn't wait for those books to arrive in the mail every month.

  3. I remember being roughly 5 years old and reading a story called "Thunder Hoof" out loud to my mother. I still have that book and now, 20+ years later, I'm teaching my son to read it to me.

  4. Very, very young. My mother took us to the library every week. I loved it. We also had library day in school. I loved books.

  5. I don't remember what my first book was that I read. I read early but hated the process. Then in middle school my sister brought home The Black Stallion and that was the book that clicked with me. I've been an avid reader ever since :)

  6. Oh, that's a fabulous story of how you fell in love with books! Love it!

  7. Loved this story! R.L. Stine was one that I read several of but my very first book obsession came when we had a school book fair and I got to meet the author of The Red Heels by Robert D. San Souci. I still have the book and my love affair has never gone away.

    I read the book once every year and I'm immediately inspired all over again.

  8. Mine began with a ballerina book that my mom used to read to me. It was hers when she was little. Bessie Ballerina or something like that. It continued on into all my Grandma's old Nancy Drews. My parents wouldn't let me read Stephen King because he gave me nightmares. RL Stine would have been outlawed in the household as well. I love hearing what books brought readers to...reading, I guess!

  9. My love of reading came from my mother who read Black Beauty to me. I remember begging for "just one more chapter."

    I honestly can't remember what the first book was that I bought - my public school was a member of the Scholastic book club and once a month we'd get a list of books for sale and an order form. Scholastic made a fortune off of me. :-)