"Newland never seems to look ahead," Mrs. Welland once ventured to complain to her daughter, and May answered serenely: "No; but you see it doesn't matter, because when there's nothing particular to do he reads a book."
"Ah, yes -- like his father!" Mrs. Welland agreed, as if allowing for an inherited oddity; and after that the question of Newland's unemployment was tacitly dropped.
-- From Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence, ch.XXII --
The above passage gave me paws, which is to say, made me stop and think.
[And scratch the couch].
But seriously, it occurred in the book I am now reading.
I stopped to realize something.
I am like this Newland character in many ways. Except that I prefer to read a book even when there IS a particular other thing to do. I always want to read!
The existence of this very blog is to provide a forum where I can speak publicly about my two main addictions --> Books and hamburger.
So, no truer words could be said of me, than the first part of the above quotation in Wharton. However, the second part is utterly foreign to my experience.
My parents were not readers. In my mother's later years she took up reading -- largely due to my own encouragement…. but my father?
I am not 100% sure, but I think it would be quite safe to say that he never read a book in the entirety of his lifetime. I always love to imagine that he did perhaps read a book -- maybe it is just that no one else knew about it.
Whereas, seemingly from birth, I loved to read. I loved words.
My own propensity towards the written page is a mystery to me -- certainly not "an inherited oddity."
I know not the true origin of my precocious love of words!
And so I ask the question to my own beloved Blog-readers:
Do you feel that your parents influenced you toward your love of books?
Were your parents, either one of them, avid readers? Examples of why bookshelves were invented?
I must add one more thing -- my parents were great parents.
They are no longer alive, and hence cannot defend themselves regarding my comments above. So I want to mention a few things I am very thankful for.
First, my mother read to us at bedtime. It is such a sweet memory to me. She mostly read us Bible stories, and for this I am infinitely grateful to her.
Secondly, my father got us The World Book Encyclopedia, which my younger sister and I literally devoured!
And thirdly, neither one of them discouraged my attempts at borrowing every single book from The Regent Park Library on Sherwood Drive!