Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Origins of My Love Affair With Books

(Note: I got the idea for this post from Jason Black's blog, Plot to Punctuation.)

What started my love affair with reading? I'd like to brag that the book that first made me a reader was a great classic or somethiong avant-garde but that's not how it happened. Nope, I was the kind of kid who only read when my teachers forced me to. That is, until I was eight or nine and my mom grandmother got me this book:

The book that started it all

Yes, it's a Baby-sitters Club book. More specifically, the junior series staring Karen, the little sister of a Baby-sitters Club member.

Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. I read all the other books in the series then moved on to the real Baby-sitters Club books. After that I was on the hunt for more series and I found Nancy Drew and the Boxcar Children. Finally I discovered of the Chronicles of Narnia (which I pronounced as "Nara" in my head for the longest time). Those books sealed the deal and made me a lifelong reader.

Besides making me a reader, I also have to thank/blame Karen Two-Two for one other thing. In the books she switched between two pairs of glasses. One of those pairs of glasses were big and pink, which I thought was awesome except I hated pink so I got my glasses in the next closest color:

My big red glasses

Not only were they hideous, but it was also the early 1990s which saw this handsome fellow on TV wearing big red glasses:

Steve Urkel from Family Matters

I had never seen Family Matters, but my classmates had. They convinced me to hitch up my pants and stomp around the classroom while saying "Did I do that?" over and over. Good times!

So what's the lesson in all this? Don't discount the value of a light, formulaic book. It has the potential to connect with readers just as much as something outrageous or experimental.


  1. 1. Your grandmother should get credit for buying you the first Little Sisters book.
    2. Red glasses were very fashionable at the time. Talk show hostesses and your first grade teacher, Romy Roquemore, wore them.

  2. Thanks for the details, mom. It's amazing the amount of stuff I misremember from my childhood.