Thursday 23 August 2007

The Family That Reads Together...

Hope you'll excuse my blatant breaking of copyright today, but I didn't feel like sketching all of the Brady Bunch. I'll be honest, I've never actually seen/heard/read the Brady Bunch, and so can only use them as a proverbial happy-smiley-friendly family, to help illustrate this week's Booking Through Thursday.

When growing up did your family share your love of books? If so, did one person get you into reading? And, do you have any family-oriented memories with books and reading? (Family trips to bookstore, reading the same book as a sibling or parent, etc.)

I was very blessed to grow up in a family which treasured books, and had them all over the place. Oddly enough, given my voracious reading now, and my English degree and whatnot, I actually found learning to read initially quite tricky. That's my memory of it, anyway - having secret reading sessions with Our Vicar's Wife. Secret from The Carbon Copy, you understand (though with my competence for being discreet, this didn't remain secret for long) - being one of twins is brilliant most of the time, but during childhood we were very sensitive to which was making progress faster.

So I can't really single anyone out in the family as encouraging my young reading, though Our Vicar's Wife was wonderful at helping us 'play out' the books, making over the house to be a Famous Five adventure, and so forth. But my transition from teenage-reading to adult-reading (in a strictly innocent sense, of course) was aided by my Aunt Jacq, and by, who come in for their fair share of mention on here.

Some of my book-related memories involve the first time the roles reversed, and I got Our Vicar's Wife excited in books I'd recommended, particularly Richmal Crompton's novels. Convincing Our Vicar to read Pride and Prejudice was another victory - he's not particularly a novel reader, and commented afterwards that he'd 'known the plot already'.

Mostly, I delight in having a literate family who have always encouraged me in reading - though all of them think I spend a little too much on books, they've given in trying to stop me. Sensible folk.


  1. My family sometimes thought I read too much too. Like when I tried to read during dinner. Here's my answer:

  2. I came from a strong family of readers too. They encouraged me to read anything and everything just about, and although my father sometimes threatened to take my books away if I was bad, they did not often seem to mind the time I spent reading. Occasionally I would be told to get my nose out of the book and join the family. :-)

  3. Thank you, Simon, for sending me to BTT today. My father read both ALICE books to me when I was 4 or 5 ... which is what got the whole reading and riting (although not, sadly for my bank manager, rithmetic) thing rolling. And I was often to be found reading when something else, billed as more exciting but which rarely proved to be so, was going on.

  4. Books were the only unquestioned extravagance in my family. My father read voraciously and widely my mother a little more restricted to the 18th/19th/20th C classics. Interestingly she was the only one of the two who would read Proust with any real pleasure (my father three times got as far as "The Guermantes Way" before giving up). My father was a great admirer of Lawrence Durrell and had all his works as signed/dedicated first editions. They knew almost every antiquarian bookseller from the Borders to Central Perthshire, and I met many people who ran private presses (indeed as a teenager I owned a very minor one myself). I got my love of reading from both of them and my wonderful Anglo-Swiss "family" who acted in some way as siblings and who shared their love of all things book related. I wish to gratefully acknowledge that in the 21st C it is Ms Cornflower who has rekindled my passion for literature.


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