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TSS: The Books My Mother Gave Me

May 8, 2011

The Sunday

I am a reader.
I am a mother.
I am a daughter.

Mostly, I am the first and second, simply, because I am the last. I often think about the ways in which my mom has influenced my life and, honestly, my reading. From the very beginning, she gave me books and read to me what she was reading. She not so much encouraged reading in her daughters, but, more so, offered it up as a way of life. It was, simply, like brushing teeth in our house.

From Stella Luna and Alphabears to the Celestine Prophecy and Maisie Dobbs, I know that, every time I read a book, I feel a connection to my mom.

Though we don’t always overlap in our reading tastes (I’m more neo-noir and she’s a bit more campy crime, to put it in the most simple terms) we share thoughts and opinions on the books we’ve read, better than most bloggers I know.

A Cornell engineer cum divinity school grad, my mom has a seriously wide range in terms of interest. I can’t claim the same as a political science geek, who is a little far gone on the bizarre literary fiction spectrum.  I will say, though, that because of, rather in spite of our varying interests, we seem to have always come together on a literary level.

As I pass on my love of reading to a new generation, my son and my still-gestating little one, I wonder what kind of readers they will become. What I know is this: whether they read comic books, the news paper, chick-lit or philosophy, I only care that they do read, not what they read. For that, I have my mommy to thank.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2011 9:25 am

    I have two books that belonged to my mother when she was a child…given to her in 1921. One is by the author of Heidi (Johanna Spyri), a little known book called Cornelli. The other is Elsie Dinsmore, by Martha Finley…long ago out of print.

    But they sit on my Baker’s rack in the dining room, alongside other favorites. To remember.


  2. May 8, 2011 3:06 pm

    This is such a great post. My parents were a big influence on me becoming a reader. My father taught me how to read while my mother bought me all the books I wanted. Happy Mother’s Day.

  3. May 8, 2011 3:25 pm

    My mom is a big reader as well, and I love sharing recommendations and thoughts with her about the things we are reading. If it weren’t for her, I don’t know if I would be a reader at all, and that gift of reading is such an amazing thing to impart to a child. I am raising a house full of readers as well, and it gives me limitless joy.

  4. May 8, 2011 4:16 pm

    What a lovely tribute to your mother. I’m a reader because of my mother too.

  5. May 10, 2011 10:30 pm

    What a wonderful bookish tribute to your mom!!! I think that parents influence whether someone becomes a reader more than any other person in the world. I know both my mom and dad were actively involved in my reading life from a very early age. My mom was always getting us the Newbery and Caldecott winners to read and taking us to the library. Plus we always saw them reading.

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