“I learned from the age of two or three that any room in our house, at any time to day, was there to read in, or be read to. My mother read to me. She’d read to me in the big bedroom in the mornings, when we were in her rocker together, which ticked in rhythm as we rocked, as though we had a cricket accompanying the story. She’s read to me in the dining room on winter afternoons in front of the coal fire, with our cuckoo clock ending the story with ‘Cuckoo,’ and at night when I’d got into my own bed. I must have given her no peace….It has been startling and disappointing to me to find out that story books had been written by people, that books were not natural wonders, coming up of themselves like grass….”
Always in search of inspiration, the Land Library will continue to return to a central theme over the next few weeks: the intrinsic value of reading, the power of books, and those first moments — our childhood encounters with the printed page. Our continued source of inspiration for these posts will be Maria Tatar’s Enchanted Hunters: the Power of Stories in Childhood (pictured above), a wonderful blend of scholarly insight and personal memoir. Maria Tatar has also included an invaluable appendix which records writer’s recollections of how books changed their lives — writers such as Eudora Welty.
Next Week: Paleontologist Philip Currie & The Book That Shaped His Life