When my second-grade teacher decided to spend the year reading aloud to the class the Laura Ingalls Wilder series–get this–MY PARENTS BOUGHT ME WHOLE SET!!!!!!

Not only was it special to me to own the books myself…I still have them…but as one of the two or three kids in class, I got to take turns during the in-class readings walking around to show the rest of the class any pictures. Not only that, but it was a time in my parents’ life when they had much else they could’ve done with the money, and I knew that. The message about the importance of books that my parents sent by doing that for me came across loud and clear.

I also read and re-read all the books by Madeleine L’Engle, graduating to her more adult books in high school. The thing was, her kids’ books didn’t seem like kids’ books, and they made me think in new ways and deeper ways. I did my thesis on L’Engle in my senior year of high school, and that made me think of writing and creativity in new ways and deeper ways. Now here I am, writing a blog "on words, and stories, and books and things."

These books both brought me pleasure in the reading, and affected my life in tangible, long-lasting ways.