I attribute my love of books to my parents, who while they weren’t big readers themselves, always took the time to expose my sisters and me to the written word. It probably started with the Dr. Seuss & Friends book-of-the-month subscriptions back in the 70s before I was even school age. I was weaned on a steady diet of fantastical Dr. Seuss, P.D. Eastman, Stan and Jan Berenstein at bed time. I remember when we moved when I was about 5, one of my aunts was helping us unpack in the new house and the first thing I did when she cracked the box with the Dr. Seuss books in it was make her sit down and read to me.
My mother started taking us to the public library at a very early age too. It was within walking distance of the neighbourhood we lived in and it actually had different rooms for the Children’s and Adult section. As an adult it’s easy to understand why you might want to have a bunch of loud, rambunctious kid’s on the opposite side of a wall from where you are trying to study or read the Sunday paper, but as kid I thought it was special that we had our own section. It was like our own kingdom where the adults were visitors in a pint-sized land. My sisters and I would regularly take out our allotment of 5 or 7 books and swap them amongst ourselves only to return and do it all over again a week or so later. One of my favourite stories I discovered in that kid’s section was a book by Pat Hutchins called Don’t Forget the Bacon. It’s a fun story about a boy who gets sent to the local market to pick up some items for his mother. Along the way as he recites the shopping list in attempt to remember everything, but accidently swaps out items for things that catch his eye along his trip. When he shows up at home with a random assortment of items that were most definitely not on his list he is forced to retrace his steps, returning everything and trying to remember the original list.
Books have always been a part of my life, and I have never been able to pass up browsing in a book store, especially a good used book store. I love finding old SF titles, especially ones with lurid covers like this example from Heinlein for “The Door into Summer”. Old anthologies of hard to find or out of print short stories are also a favourite of mine. Probably the most shelf space in my collection is devoted to stories about time travel. According to my good-reads profile I have at least 180 titles related to Time Travel in my collection. My love of time travel fiction is well documented on my other site – Andy’s Anachronisms, so I won’t waste a lot of space discussing that here.
My love of books knows no bounds (or at least no shelf space limitations) and I have a serious problem that I buy books far faster than I read them. I think I could stop buying books today I’d still have enough unread books to last me a good decade or two.
One of the reasons I continually buy books is that I am always looking for good stories and new authors to open my mind to new horizons.