I read a lot as a kid, so much so that my mother got really aggravated with me because I would devour books within hours or days, not weeks or months like most kids (and I could never remember to take books back to the library). I remember the summer after third grade when she came home with three new books for me, and she got annoyed when I finished them all over the weekend. It was a pretty common occurrence. By the time I was in high school (and to keep me out of her hair), she got me started on the giant tomes in the Masters of Rome series by Colleen McCullough – one of my favorite series, incidentally, and probably a big part of the reason I love watching or reading about Ancient Roman history.
But the book that stands out most as a children’s book that impacted me was Charlotte’s Web. It was the first chapter book I read on my own (it was the summer after 2nd grade), and I thoroughly immersed myself in it. I was so attached to the characters, in fact, that after I finished reading the book, I was sobbing when I woke up Big Sis E. She, of course, was concerned and asked me what happened, and I was only able to say, “She’s dead!” (Note: Do not ever wake up someone and say, “She’s dead!” It’s not a good scene.) Finally, after a good deal of pantomime by yours truly, Big Sis E was able to deduce that I was talking about the spider in the book (and if you never read it or saw the animated movie, I’ve just spoiled it for you).
I can’t say there were really any other books that I loved as a kid. I loved them all. I liked reading Judy Blume books, and I spent many summers devouring the Nancy Drew mysteries when we visited my cousins in the Philippines. But I never had a favorite author or a favorite book as a kid.
I can only hope The Boy grows up to be a voracious reader, too, when he grows up. Judging by his fascination with catalogs as they come in, he may be on his way.