What is the first book you remember reading? What about the first that made you really love reading? ~ Booking Through Thursday
You’d never have guessed it looking at me, but I was sort of a sickly child. Lots of asthma related allergies and respiratory infections, many of which came with that awful barking cough known as “croup.” Because of that, and because one of the few things that comforted me from a very early age were books and magazines, there was a lot of reading going on in my house, much of it at all hours of the night.
My grandparents lived with us in those days, and my grandmother was the designated night time reader. Thinking back on it, I suspect she was in the early stages of her “change of life,” and was perhaps having her own troubles sleeping. So when I would awake, my chest clogged tightly with thick mucous, she would plug in the vaporizer, prop me up with pillows, and settle beside me on the sofa.
“What shall we read?” she’d ask.
“Heidi, please,” was always my first answer. “The part about Grandfather and the goat’s milk.”
I loved Heidi because it was about a little girl and her very quiet, almost taciturn Grandfather, a man I pictured to look much like my own Granddad, who would wander with me through the nearby woods, pretending to “hunt”, or play makebelieve versions of my favorite television shows (he was “Chester” to my “Mr. Dillon” from Gunsmoke, and was able to walk with a very satisfying hitch in his gait.)
But the best part of Heidi was a passage that told of the pair coming down the mountain, tired from herding sheep all day, to a meal of thick white bread laden with rich, creamy butter, washed down with glasses of warm goat’s milk.
My mouth waters even now
So it was Johannes Spry that set me off on a love of reading. In those days, the poems from A Child’s Gardner of Verses were also big favorites, as were the Bobbsey Twins series and Beatrix Potter tales. But it was Heidi and her beloved Grandfather who instituted my love affair with books.
Now tell me, what was your first book love?