MY EVOLUTION OF READING – by Kathy Ivan
I've always been a reader, from a very early age. I was one of those kids in school who when they got the reading list for the year had it finished in just a few weeks. Books were my escape from life, from school, from everything. They took me away to places I'd never get to see outside of their pages. I got to meet people and make special friends, all between the covers of a book.
One of my fondest memories was when I was about seven or eight. My mom loved to visit second-hand shops and used book stores and I'd often go with her. On this one particular afternoon, she was browsing, and I wandered around the store, never too far from her sight but enough that I felt free to look at my leisure. In my explorations, I found a tattered old cardboard box. When I started digging, I found these lovely old volumes of books I'd never seen or heard of. They all starred this girl called Nancy Drew.
Opening the first book, I remember falling under the spell of the story. A girl and her friends were having adventures. Solving mysteries. They were having FUN! Oh, I wanted those books so much, but I didn't have enough to get one of them, much less all that were in that box. I was heartbroken, because I knew they'd be gone the next time we came in. After all, these were special books, so everybody would want to read them.
My mom came over to check on what I was doing and I showed her the box filled with books. I can still remember her face to this day. My mother loved to read, and she wanted me to love it too. But I also knew we couldn't afford all those books. Still, she told me I could pick out two of them. I was so careful, going through and looking at the jacket of each one, seeing Nancy and her pals running from the bad guys, or sneaking up a staircase.
I finally made my choices and handed them to her. She walked up to the cashier with our purchases and they had a long conversation while I waited. Finally, the cashier nodded and smiled at me. Then she walked back to where the magical box of books was and brought it over to the counter and put a SOLD sign on the top. You see, my mother wanted me to have those books so much, she made arrangements to come back and make payments so they'd hold the books for her.
I didn't understand how big a sacrifice that was back then, though I do today. My mother wanted me to have those books, not because they were a possession I had to have, but because she understood how reading could change my life. We went back several times until I had all the books from that box and read them all over and over.
Though my reading tastes have matured and grown since then, my love of a good story still lives on. Though to this day, whenever I see a Nancy Drew book I have to smile, because it brings back this sweet memory from my childhood.
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