I don’t have the best memory. What do they say about an elephants memory? It’s something like an elephant remembers everything from the day they were born. I think my sister is like that. My brother and I marvel about the stories that she tells about our childhood. We were there but neither of us remember as many details as she does. The memories I do remember really well involve books.
Most children’s mother or father read them a story at bedtime. Mine did too, but the story I remember the most is J.R.R. Tolkien’s the Hobbit. I must’ve been six or seven when my mom started reading that book to me. I loved how she would whisper in Gollum’s voice, “those sneaky little hobbitses”! It’s a wonder I didn’t have nightmares! As an adult, I’ve thought back on that book as kind of a questionable choice, and we have since laughed about that together. On the books 50th anniversary she gave me a golden bound edition and inscribed it to me “with love from Mom”.
As with most children, that nightly story started my love of books. I learned that an imagination was a wonderful thing. I could visualize the hobbit on his adventures, though I will admit to my Gollum not looking as freaky as the version in the movie. He was much more child friendly!
I had a small built in bookshelf in my closet and my mom would take me to the library to check out books. I’ve often wondered at the late return charges she must’ve paid because I was a bit of a book hoarder. I had those two shelves fully stocked! I guess I haven’t changed that much because I still like to have a huge variety of books available to choose from, my Overdrive app and my Kindle app have a large number of books checked out or bought. As well as paperback or hardbacks that my sister and mom have sent to me!
My father was a commercial airline pilot for TWA. He would normally work two weeks out of the month, and if he had to go on a trip, he’d need a solid eight hours of sleep before he flew. Those flights were not always during normal hours, so he may have needed to sleep in the middle of the day. My brother, sister and I always joked that we were the Stepford kids. When Dad was on a trip, we’d run around screaming and playing. When Dad was home, and had to sleep, we’d very quietly sit in our rooms and read a book. So part of this love of books was drilled into us and became habit. A habit I still enjoy today.
Another memory I had told in my earlier blog First Book on the Blog of visiting my older sister in school at UT in Austin when I was 16 and being introduced to Silhouette romances. As I got older I went off to college and my love of fiction was broadened to include Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. I remember giving all of these books to my older brother for Christmas, hoping he’d enjoy them as much as I did.
Do you have a memory that involves a book from your life that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it!
Copyright 2015 Deborah Kehoe all rights reserved.