I was that kid. Ya know, the one that didn’t read.
I was encouraged to “read a book” — usually when I complained about there being nothing on TV — and I most definitely had access to books. I remember my mother always having Agatha Christie mysteries around; my step-father read a lot of science fiction (Isaac Asimov, etc.) and my sister was always nose-deep in a book.
I do remember having the Hardy Boys collection.
They were action packed fun.
My favorite book as a kid was Lost on a Mountain in Maine.
I don’t know why this book fascinated me. But, it did. I actually got to meet Don Fendler a couple of years ago. (Side note: It is the first, and only, time I have been star-struck.) I think this is the only book I read more than once as a kid.
The first “adult” book I remember reading was Peter Benchley’s Jaws. My family and I were going camping. We stopped at a store along the way and I asked if I could have the book. I think it shocked my parents so much they agreed to buy it for me. I can still remember the first time I saw “sonofabitch” spelled out. It took me a minute to figure out what it said. But, when I did, it was like I had taken a big, toothy bite out of the forbidden fruit. I now knew how to spell a big ole swear word. Woot! Woot! I was probably 13 or 14 at the time, so the nudity, swearing, and violence kept me turning the pages.
From that point on, I read very little beyond school work. It wasn’t until years later that I became the reader I am today.
I was working as a night auditor at a hotel, and passing time on the 11-7 shift watching quality television like Beavis & Butthead, when I asked my sister about a couple of books she had at her house. They were the Redwall books by Brian Jacques. She let me borrow the first few books and the rest is history.
Now, it’s hard for me to imagine not having a book around.