- February 18, 2014
The Gift Of Reading
My mother really didn’t mind what I read; for a while I was a fan of MAD Magazine. I remember a friend of my mother’s remarking she didn’t want her children reading MAD. Not sure what that was about but my mother replied she didn’t really care what I was reading as long as I was reading something.
For a period of time my parents also made me read to them. Every night I read aloud from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. At the time I considered this a bit of a bother, but in hindsight I figure this may have laid the foundation for my ability to speak articulately in public.
My parents were big readers. My mother always had a book in her hands if she wasn’t reading to me. I recall my dad reading Louis L’Amour almost exclusively. He only ever attended a few years of school as a kid. He had actually taught himself how to read from Marine Corps training manuals. Suffice it to say he was particularly adamant I learn to read and spell as a kid.
One day I remember putting down a comic book I had and asked my parents if I could pick out a real book to read for myself. In my memory my parents reaction was along the lines of: “Heeeeeell yes!”
So we went to a bookstore where I selected my first book. This was of course:
Later I would get into Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom series, Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone, and other sword and sorcery/ science fictiony type tales.
As a young infantry Marine I’d bring books to the field. Inevitably we’d end up waiting around for hours for trucks, planes, or some kind of aircraft to take us somewhere. I got into the habit of packing a book in my deuce gear. Soon my buddies were asking if I had an extra book they could take with them to the field. After a while nearly the whole platoon was taking books to the bush and swapping them with each other.
What I’m really saying is this is all my mom’s fault. She exposed me to all this swashbuckling stuff at an early age. So stay tuned for more tales of high adventure, gun slinging, and the forces of evil being held at bay by the light of my drawn sword.