This is a different kind of Male Monday post for me.
First, I have to give props to Ari, who introduced me to the Male Monday meme. We reconnected for a short while this past summer on Twitter and she continues to be one amazing young lady. No doubt, I’ll soon be saying ‘I knew here when…’!
This coming Thursday would have been my dad’s 92 birthday. I owe my love of reading to my dad. He (and my mom) did so many things right! I remember they did have a copy of Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care book in the house, but I don’t believe they ever referenced it. I think they parented by the seat of their pants and I think they did a fantastic job of it, especially with reading and education.
When we my brother, sister and I were really young, I can remember my dad telling us stories of Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks. I can remember sitting in his lap and climbing all over him as he retold these stories each time with the same excitement as if it were the first time. I think our favorite was the Three Little Pigs. We heard that one a lot!
What an incredible way to introduce us to stories and to build the desire to want to hear more of them! No doubt he was establishing our lifelong love of reading. My brother, sister and I are still readers as are our children!
I have no idea how young I was when dad took us to get our first library cards. He probably did it as soon as we could write our own names! I remember going to the Mott Branch Library in Toledo to get books. My dad had his quirks. He didn’t care to go inside places. He had to have gone inside with us to get signed up, but my memories are not of him being in that library with us. I was, and am, OK with that. If I had needed him to go inside, he would have. I particularly remember all my overdue book fines and my dad grumbling as he paid them. But, he did pay them and I never heard about it again.
When we were in elementary school, he taught us how to use the durable brown paper from grocery bags to cover our books. Every year of elementary school as well as most of high school, we were expected to cover, and thus protect, our books.
Dad supplied our home with his favorite publications: US News and World Report (which I didn’t like because it never had pictures for school reports), Readers Digest (which I will still read!) and The Toledo Blade. He bought encyclopedias, the World Almanac and those condensed books the Readers Digest used to publish. Our house was filled with reading materials! While he was more of a magazine and newspaper reader, he loved to see us read. We didn’t really talk a lot about books or reading, but by taking us to the library, filling our home with reading materials and doing so many other things that indirectly supported our reading habits, he told us that this was important. And that we were, too.