That we read. We have always read. In the house that I grew up in, there was a wall to floor built in bookcase in one room. Plus, each of us 3 children had our own bookcase in our rooms.
Sometimes the number of bookcases would increase, depending on deaths of elderly friends and relatives. They were never superfluous and the amount of books owned rapidly expanded to fit the available space to house them.
(I am sure that there is some weird physics law that could be applied here but I just can’t remember it).
We didn’t watch tv much as I was growing up. I was never very interested, even when it came in colour, and my parents would only ever watch the news. Instead, we would talk and play games and read. Often, my father would read aloud to us from books of poetry and I loved those evenings more than any other.
I still read a lot of poetry but nothing will ever come close to the joy of my 14 year old mind, when I realised that I actually could declaim ‘How Horatius Kept The Bridge’, from Mackauley’s ‘Lays of Ancient Rome’, from start to finish.
The point is, we were all so such fans of the written work. Birthdays and Christmases amongst us always included books. If there was ever a book that one of us in the family circle found irrestible, then it was passed around the others. Literary magazines, from New York and the UK, were passed around the group; each recipient carefully marking their initials on the front cover, to indicate the position and timing of the circulating item.
Subscriptions were shared; books purchased or checked out of the library, simply because we knew somebody who would want to read that, even if it wasn’t our own particular taste.
I read a lot to my daughters as they grew up. They still read, regardless of whatever else social mediums attract their attention.
It makes me so happy to know that the book my mother gave me for Christmas is on its fourth loanout in the family. That we are a family of readers.