"A room without books is like a body without a soul"-Cicero With the exception of bathrooms, every room in my house has books. I LOVE books. If I had to purchase every book I devoured, I don't even want to think about what my house would look like. My blogger friend Jojo just posted about books and writing and the blend of the two. It made me think about my love of books and when that passion started. I don't remember learning to read, but I do remember being praised for being an adept reader in the first grade. I know that at that time I wasn't sold on reading. I distinctly recall being sent home with a book full of stories and at the time I knew that this was special. These were the days when homework was NOT given in the first grade and this book was harder than anything we read in class. I was supposed to read the whole book which was comprised of different stories and when I was done bring the book back. What? Read during my play time? I don't think so. I liked being read to. The Old Hag's Long Leather Bag was my Favorite. So, I kept the book for awhile, read the first and last stories, looked through the rest and gave the book back to the teacher. It hadn't occured to me that she might ask me questions about the stories. Yikes. The first thing she asked me was whether or not I had read the whole book. A clear choice was before me. Tell the truth, and risk being sent home with the book again, or lie. I lied and hoped I wouldn't get caught. See, it still weighs on me that I made a poor choice. She opened the book, picked the first story and asked me what it was about. Whew. I'd read that one. She flipped to the last story. I had read this one too. Check. Then she flipped to the middle. Uh oh. So I made something up. And she bought it. And that was the first time that I realized that teachers didn't know everything. Powerful knowledge for a 6 or 7 year old. I still didn't love to read, but I did love being able to read better than everyone else. By second grade I knew I was a top reader, by fourth grade I remember enjoying silent reading time, and by fifth grade I was hooked. I loved reading. All the time. I'd ride my bike to the public library and snatch just about anything off the shelves. Most of it was junk. I distinctly remember reading these "Sweet Valley High" books about identical twin girls who had very different personalities. I'm not proud of the fact that I was good at picking out junk even then, but I have to thank the author for the part her books played in making reading a passion. I remember my summers of reading the best. I couldn't wait for time during the day in which I could "hide" and read. On my bed, outside in the sun, in my tent on vacation........it was all the same. When I could crack open a book I could escape my world and enter another. Seconds, minutes, hours would pass and I wouldn't notice. When I'd have to stop reading I was thinking about when I could steal more time to finish. Books truely got me through my adolescence. I'll be forever thankful to those that write......that have provided me with words to ponder or just enjoy. Maybe I'll try to be one of those writers I admire someday. For today, I'll settle for my little blog.....and enjoy getting inspiration from others.