Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey for 2012. I hope you'll join in writing your memoirs and childhood memories for your descendants.
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Books have always been a pretty big deal in my life. As a child I remember my mother going to the Library every couple of weeks and exchanging her books. She was an avid reader and although we didn't have much, we did have a bookcase full of books. And there was no censorship in our house. Whatever I wanted to read, I could. Except Romance Novels or Romance comic books - those were forbidden.
I don't honestly remember my mother ever taking us kids to the library to choose children's books and I don't recall having any picture books in the house. But from about age 6 on I struggled through Reader's Digest stories! My Mom subscribed to that magazine so it was always available.
My dad must have subscribed to some Detective magazine because I recall devouring the "true" crime stories from about age 10 on. I can't see my mom reading those so it must have been dad.
I read anything I could get my hands on - cereal boxes, labels, it didn't matter. We often ate our breakfast or lunches alone and both my sister and I would grab books or a cereal box to read while we ate. My mom read almost non-stop. We didn't have a television until I was 9 and my mom wasn't a big tv fan anyway. So she read and knitted every night after supper.
My dad taught me to read at a very young age, and when I went to Kindergarten at age 4 (almost 5) I could already read most of the picture books. Dad and I used to sit to read The Toronto Star together. I'd struggle with most of the words and Dad would help me sound them out. I would sit on his knee so I was about 5.
My mother was on the Library Board and my older sister worked in the local Library, then when I turned 14 I too went to work there! Books and Libraries were just a normal part of life for me. I joined the High School Newspaper as a reporter/journalist and loved it. In University I was once more a reporter for the University newspaper.
So I went from books to writing and then to Libraries - a natural progression for me and adding another book-related hobby didn't push the others aside.
After my marriage (my first one) I went to work in the Toronto Public Library system and worked in two different libraries in the city for several years until we left Toronto in 1971.
And then as a genealogist what do I do? I frequent Libraries and Archives and read books and documents! For fun. It seems it's always been in my blood.
I used to read at least one book a week but a few years ago I was diagnosed with Cogan's Dystrophy which is a painful eye condition. Basically the outer layer of the cornea of my eyes cracks or splits, then scar tissue forms, and then sloughs off. When I have an episode, my vision blurs (often for hours) and I experience pain and sensitivity to light. The pain lasts for days and I have trouble seeing.
Reading is now very difficult for me and I reserve my limited reading time to working on my computer, doing my genealogy and writing my blogs! I miss reading a good book and know I'm going to have to look into books I can listen to instead. But it won't be the same.
How have books affected your life?