Remembering when I started reading is a little odd. It’s almost like trying to remember learning to talk, or that your pants go on your feet and not your head. I know I read early, from what my mom used to tell me. I was the kid at every gathering or outing who had to bring a book with me. Instead of socializing and running around with other kids when my parents had friends over, I was the one hiding in the corner or under the table with my latest book in hand.
What I can really remember though is when I first started falling in love with books. I was probably seven or eight and I loved horses. I adored them in the way that only little girls can. My obsession with them started early when I went to the obligatory little kid pony ride party. I still have a picture of tiny me with a pink cowboy hat on (safety first mom – where’s my helmet!) with a grin a mile wide. After that first ride, I wouldn’t be quiet until I started lessons. And so it began. Every minute I was allowed to, I was at the barn. My mom even started working at the barn I was riding at, taking care of the horses so I could take more lessons.
From there, horses spilled over into every area of my life. Horse posters? Check. Model horses? Check. Playing horses with the dog and making her jump over obstacles? Check. So the logical next step for a book-loving, horse-obsessed kid was books about horses. I remember being overjoyed with all of the books that I found that centered around horses. The Black Stallion. Misty of Chincoteague. Black Beauty. (Speaking of, what’s with all the black horses? Bay horses need love too!) I remember being so overjoyed that even when I couldn’t physically be around horses, I could immerse myself in that joy and love that I felt through the stories.
As I got older (and ran out of horse books) my love for books carried me into different genres, primarily fantasy. But the joy I felt in reading has never changed. It’s a wonderful thing to experience so many different lives through books. Do you guys remember what kindled your love of reading? What’s the first book that you can remember making a huge impression on you?