Er…Top Ten Wednesday doesn’t have the same ring to it, but please just go with it. Well, The Broke and the Bookish have done it again. Landed me with a hard Top Ten, while Kaite gets all the cool ones (not that I hold it against them. We love this meme!). This time I’ve called in my fellow bloggers’ expertise to help me out. So I guess this is a collaborative effort! (Though I will continue to talk in the first person.)
Me: Scholastic book fairs in elementary school! If you went to a participating Canadian school, you know how magical these things were. You actually got to miss class. To shop. For books! If you work at a school and have any pull whatsoever, I ask on behalf of every kid there that you make this a reality for them, too! (This is totally unsolicited, don’t worry.)
Me: A conversation with Jean Little. Primary school really is formative! In the very same atrium where those book fairs happened, our class also got to listen to Canadian children’s author Jean Little speak about everything from her family to her writing process to the way she types and edits her work, to how she got hooked up with her guide dog. Would I love From Anna half as much if I’d never heard her speak about it? It’s hard to say.
Me: My Dad. Okay, so this veers a little more into my personal life rather than reading life, but it’s important. Every birthday my dad would give me a book. One year it was Fifty Nature Projects for Kids. Another year it was a book of poetry called Sing a Song of Popcorn. When I was older he gave me the Lord of the Rings trilogy (still have yet to crack that one, sorry Dad). Some of them were duds. Most of them were instant household classics I plan to pass on to my own children someday. The best part was always the thoughtful inscription on the inside flap. The books themselves usually said what he wanted to say, but the point is he said it anyway.
Me: My Mom. Not that my dad never read to us, but mostly I remember my mom doing it. Almost every bedtime of my young childhood included a picture book or two, or a few chapters of a novel. Favorites included Spinky Sulks (William Steig) and the Ramona series (Beverly Cleary). Parents – this is NUMBER ONE on the list of things you must do to foster a love of reading in your own child. Make time for it. In twenty years your kid could be feeling homesick just blogging about it!
But this is getting too serious. Enough of my Norman Rockwell-sounding family (I assure you it wasn’t all “peaches and cream”, as my grandmother would say). Let’s move on, shall we?
Me: The “I Can Do This” Moment. It was grade 12, and my favourite elective (because I had many that year) was creative writing. The teacher was about to hand back our first assignment, but before he did, he spotted the one on top of the pile and went on a short tangent about how some of these stories were so good they should be published. Then he handed them back to us, and who should that first story belong to but me?! It was solidified: I want to write books for a living. Whether I’ll ever finish one (let alone get published and be able to pay the bills) is anyone’s guess. Still, a definitive moment.
Natasha: Direct Contact with a Favourite Author. She said: “I remember when Jennifer L. Holm responded to an email I sent her. It made my day. She was my favorite author!”
Kaite: The Personalized Storybook! She said: “When I was little (like 4) my aunt and uncle had a book made for me for Christmas that had me as a character in it, with my name and everything. That was awesome.” Tell us, Kaite, do you still have it? Can we please, please, please see it?
Kaite: Road Trippin’ with Her Two Favourite Allies. She said: “My #1 bookish memory would be when I was on a road trip with my friend Caitlin and we were in Duluth the night the last Harry Potter came out, so we spent 3 hours in line. The next day while one of us drove the other read – all day long.” Well I’m glad you drew the line at driving while reading. That would be one hallow a deathly situation.
Kaite: “Anytime I’ve read a book for the first time knowing that I have pure magic in my hands and I’ve got to put it in somebody else’s hands ASAP.” Well said. It’s truly rewarding to make a good recommendation!
Me and Kaite and Natasha: When We Can’t Put It Down! Time never zooms by faster than when it’s 2am and you’re just going to read “one more chapter”. Oops, now it’s morning.
So tell us…what are your best bookish memories?