(I am beyond myself with excitement to welcome Megan Crane to Saturdays in the Nook. You must check out her books if you enjoy chick lit–please leave a comment and let her know you appreciate her sharing this fantastic story)

In our house growing up, we had a ritual. Once a week my mother would gather up all four of us, pack us into the family station wagon (easier said than done, given the chaos and squabbling that four children kicked up like a cloud of dust whenever we were in the same room), and take us to the local library. Once there, she set us free to search out any books we liked.

And oh, how I liked that library. It was my home away from home. (This was before I was in high school and expected to produce research papers in the adult section of the library—much less fun.) I remember every detail of it. I remember the smell of it in winter—the radiators hissing out the scent of wet wool, slate, and overheated kids. I remember the little person chairs, the bright murals, and the unfailingly kind librarians who could not only recommend new books to read, but avert a coming meltdown with a single stern glance. I would run my hands along the spines of the books, sniff the pages, then settle down cross-legged on the floor wherever I happened to be standing and start reading.

Because there was nothing on earth I loved as much as reading. There still isn’t. My mother read to us faithfully every day, not because she thought she should, but because she enjoyed it. She tells me that I taught myself to read when I was three. I imagine this was because I was too impatient to wait my turn or share with my three siblings. I am far too old and large these days to cuddle up on her lap and share a book, but I can still remember what that felt like, with her animated voice in my ear and her arms surrounding me. Who wouldn’t love to read with such a great start?

In my elementary school, I read every single book in the school library’s fiction section. Amelia Bedelia, Trixie Belden, B is For Betsy. I read far above my age and supposed reading level. I remember feeling incredibly annoyed that there weren’t more books for me. I wanted to read all the books there were, anywhere. So many worlds to disappear into. So many dreams and stories and adventures. Left to my own devices, I would spend days lost in the pages of books, emerging only to eat or to construct elaborate games with my sister—all of them based on the books I’d been reading.

But my mother is the one who created this thirst in me. She never censored a thing I read, or even so much as commented on it. Even when, in seventh grade, I developed a passionate love for bodice-ripping romance novels, which she herself was not particularly into, she never said a word. Other adults would sniff at the books in my hands and ask if my mother knew what I was reading. Ever precocious, I would sniff back and tell them that while she might not know the specific title, she would never dream of censoring me. This did not exactly give me a good reputation amongst the adults I knew! My mother drove me all over northern New Jersey to find the always-moving secondhand book shops where I found all the category romance novels—Tami Hoag, Nora Roberts, Kay Hooper, Alexandra Sellers—and the sweeping historicals—Shirlee Busbee, Johanna Lindsey, Jennifer Blake—I so adored.

Even today, my mother sends me books, or recommends them. She is never without a book in the car, as she does her errands, or at appointments. She is the reason we’ve spent whole afternoons of family vacations sitting around together—all lost in our own books, together. She has managed to share her own love of books with her children, in so doing, giving us the greatest gift I can imagine—one that knows no boundaries, and no limits, save that of the imagination.

You can find out more about Megan’s fabulous books at her website, www.megancrane.com and be sure read her journal as well.

This post was written byAmy and is filed under Guest Posts from Authors, Saturdays in the Nook. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 Responses to “Saturdays in the Nook with Megan Crane”

  1. Julie P. Says:

    I love this post, especially the tribute to her mom. I hope my kids appreciate me for that someday!

  2. Lori Barnes Says:

    My daughter is 11 in a month 12 but she has read the whole Leminey Snicket series, Harry Potter, Sisters Grimm and working on Twilight series, some mothers probably think i should let her read more Real books but i guess these spark her imagination. I do not sensor her reading either, she’s one of the highest grade scores in all her classes and is in a special class for advance students so i am assuming what she’s read she know what she’s reading is not real and hasn’t affected her school work lol! kids today don’t get to use their imagination enough so i think it’s good for them to read books that allow them to have that. I really enjoyed this post.

  3. Lori Barnes Says:

    Oh i forgot to mention I do have her book Names my sisters call me on my wish list!

  4. Shelly Burns Says:

    Oh, how I can relate! My mom read to me from the time I was a baby and never questioned what I read, just encouraged the reading. I love, love this post! My mom and I trade books and neither one of us is ever without a book in the car. My husband makes fun of me; he is not a reader.

  5. Alyce Says:

    Megan’s mom sounds wonderful! I didn’t have that kind of understanding growing up (my folks were not book people, and couldn’t figure out why I wanted books for Christmas). I hope to provide that kind of inspiration for my children though.

  6. Sally Says:

    I ran off this post to include with my weekly newsletters hoping to plant a seed for my students’ parents. Thanks, Megan!!

  7. Lori Noe Says:

    Wow, great post! I wish I had that with my mom. Tho as a teen and growing up I hated to read. Now I don’t go anywhere without a book. I read with my DD as she grew up, but she didn’t pick up the joy I have found in books. Maybe one of these days she will just like I did.

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