Literary love starts with a grandmother…

Before I start my article, I want to say how thrilled I am to join Scene 13! There are so many wonderful authors with tremendous books releasing this year. I’m humbled to be included. I’m Michelle Pickett and my debut young adult sci/fi, post-apocalyptic romance, PODs, releases June 4th (My son’s 12th birthday) through the incredible Spencer Hill Press.

Wow! What a topic. I can’t remember a time I didn’t love to read. I grew up on Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, everything Nancy Drew, Wilson Rawls (who wrote my all-time favorite, Where the Red Fern Grows which I still read each year). I soon moved on to books such as Olivia and Jai, Veil of Illusion and Shalimar by Rebecca Ryman, September and The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher, Sophie’s Choice by William Styron and anything else I could get my hands on. My family teases me that I’ll read anything with words—they’re right. I learned to read at a very young age and then it was game on. I couldn’t get enough. And I gobbled up every genre.

My best memories are spending the weekend with my grandmother. She was an avid reader. When I’d spend the weekend with her, the first thing we’d do was stop at the library on the way to her apartment. We’d check out as many books as they’d let us. Then we would read together all weekend. The television was never turned on—we didn’t need it. We entertained ourselves with new worlds, characters and adventures.

On Saturday mornings my grandma always made blueberry waffles for breakfast. It was the only time my nose wasn’t in a book. I’d devour the waffles as fast as I could so I could return to my books.  When I wasn’t reading I was afraid I’d miss something. I think that’s a trait of a good author, making the reader get so engrossed in a book that they’re afraid something will happen when they aren’t reading.

Reading soon developed into writing and I discovered even more adventures and friends. Although I can remember writing short stories when I was young, I didn’t start writing seriously until I was in college, where I graduated summa cum laude with a degree in accounting.  Why I chose a field that didn’t encourage creativity I’ll never understand, because my real love was reading and writing. It still is.

My grandmother has been dead for twelve years now, but I still remember the love of reading she shared with me and those wonderful weekend read-a-thons. I don’t think I’d be the writer I am today if she hadn’t fostered the love of the written word in me.

So, thank you, Grandma, for giving me the love of literature. You not only touched my life, but my children’s, as well.  We have a reading hour each day. There’s no television or video games allowed. Just books. It’s the best part of our day and I can see the love of reading developing in my children and it all started with weekend trips to the library with you.

I miss my time with my grandma, but I feel her presence every time I open a new book or sit down to write. My love of literature started with her and I can’t think of a better gift.

Question of the day: Did you have a special person in your life that fostered your love of literature? Who was it and how did they encourage your love of the written word?

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16 thoughts on “Literary love starts with a grandmother…

  1. I’d have to say my mother as well; my dad was always at work but whenever he could he’d sit down and read a Goosebumps book with me or at least ask me how the one I was reading was going. But my mother always had a book in hand and so I always had a ready supply of lits to choose from.

    • I think It’s hard for dads. Some get so few hours with their children. It’s great that yours took the time to read and talk to you about the books you were reading. I think my favorite time of the day is when my twin daughters grab my husband’s hand at bedtime and say, “What are we reading tonight, Daddy.” It’s a special time for them to bond with their dad. He works long hours, too.

  2. For me it was my mom. She always read to me and to herself. I followed in her footsteps and read to my daughter while I was pregnant with her. She loves books, so I guess it worked. 😉

  3. I LOVE that line: I’m afraid something will happen when I’m not reading.
    What a beautiful way to express your love for the written word!! Congrats on your first novel being published in June.

    • Thank you for the congrats. I feel kind of nauseous about the whole think–in a good way, though. So many emotions jumbled up together.

      I always feel like I’m going to miss something when I’m not reading. It’s funny. My husband always reminds me it’s not a television show…nothing will happen while I’m away.

    • Oh, it made me cry, too! It still does and I know what’s going to happen. My son and I read it together now. He’s old enough to read himself (11). He read all the Goosebumps books, Harry Potter and so forth. But he likes me to read Where The Red Fern Grows aloud to him. I don’t know why, and I’ve never asked. I enjoy sharing it with him…and he thinks it’s funny that I cry.

  4. Both of my parents, really, although it was my father who read to me at bedtime. With accents and sound effects. My mother would go to rummage sales and come back with crates of books–one time, a whole box of Nancy Drews. Love the image of you and your grandmother with your noses in books, Michelle. And adore the notion that things keep happening in books when we’re not reading them!

    • What a great memory of your father–I love that he used accents and sound effects! Sometimes I hear strange things coming from my twins’ room when my husband reads to them. I can only imagine what he’s doing, especially when I hear the girls’ fits of giggles!

      Rummage sales–oh, how I remember them! My mom and I would go. I found a lot of my Nancy Drew books at them, too. Still have them lining the bookshelves waiting for my daughters.

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