I hope everyone had a lovely Mother’s Day. Truthfully the holiday is bittersweet for me, since my mom passed away nine years ago this month. But I do have happy memories of her, and many of them are connected to books and to reading. She was a voracious reader who passed that love of books on to me. I’d rather read than do almost anything else. (This is why my house looks like it does.)
When I was small, she read to me daily. We shared Pauline Palmer’s The Just Alike Princes, No Flying in the House by Betty Brock, Margery Clark’s Poppy Seed Cakes, and many, many fairy tales and fables. As soon as I could read on my own, she let me have free rein in the public library. While she checked on what I was reading, she never stopped me from reading anything. This led me to discover The Bobbsey Twins, Harriet the Spy, and every word Judy Blume ever wrote.
My mom’s favorite genre was Science Fiction. She loved Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Series and Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? When the movie Blade Runner came out (it was based on Do Androids Dreamâ€¦) mom and I eagerly went to the cinema together to see how the adaptation worked.
This love of SF led me to read everything from Asimov’s I, Robot to Frank Herbert’s Dune to Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series to novelizations of Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars to Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
My mom was also fond of nonfiction, specifically biographies. Her influence may have made me the only twelve year old on the planet who read both Lauren Bacall’s By Myself and Long Live the King: A Biography of Clark Gable by Lyn Tornabene.
Mom’s dementia stopped her from reading for a good couple of years before her death, but I just know she would have loved Harry Potter and John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series. Whenever I sit down with a new book, I am always grateful for the rock-solid reading foundation she built for me.
How did your mother shape you as a reader? Do you have a memory of your mom and books? Please share your experiences in the comments.
~ Geri Diorio, currently listening to Project Nemesis by Jeremy Robinson