Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend. I wouldn’t be the special kind of book nerd I am today without my mom. Whenever I say that my mom’s a librarian, people give me a kind of “ahhh…” look, as in, “oh, that explains this nerd’s deal.” Yes, I was indoctrinated from birth to love books, or it was in my DNA, sure. It’s more than that though. Thinking about it like “Welp, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” simplifies what was a warm, loving relationship that featured a slow yet joyful cultivation of a shared passion, something that continues to make my life richer.
The very simple start of it all was my mother reading to me as much as she could, as early as she could. First she’d read as many different picture books to my sister and I as possible, with some recurring favorites like Goodnight Gorilla and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom holding fixed positions in our story time queue. Then, as I got older, I was the one that would have to read to her and my sister, developing and stretching my own reading skills. Eventually, bedtime stories were replaced by me reading to myself every night, which did have it’s perks. Mom always insisted on an end to story time, but alone, I could hide under the covers with a flash light and keep the tales going all night long. New and improved story time did not end the essential roll my mother played in feeding my reading habit though. Things just got even bigger when I got older and she took a job on at the local library.
It was very useful to have a librarian in my pocket growing up. You better believe I never had to worry about late fees. I still don’t. The privilege is real. I’m not sure I can even admit to this next part legally, but My mother sometimes let me peek at some of the hottest books before the release date, before they would even be allowed to go on the shelves. Yeah, pretty sure I definitely wasn’t supposed to mention that. Sorry mom, you’re getting arrested by the publishing police for Mother’s Day.
My mom never liked to take me to the library, funnily enough, because she would basically be walking into work on her off hours. Still, I always managed to get plenty of books out of that place to feed the reading appetite of a growing girl. Having that sort of access to whatever books I wanted to try, coupled with an official librarian’s encouragement and assistance, even when she was off duty, definitely helped grow the bookworm in my heart.
Still today, books are a reason to stay connected to my mom as I start to live away from home. We always have recommendations for each other. We’re their to support each other through tragically bad film adaptations of books we loved. We stick together through all those highs and lows of loving books.
Just recently, I saw my local bookstore, (Anderson’s) announcing Graeme Simsion’s visit to promote his new book, The Best of Adam Sharp. Simsion is currently my mother’s most favorite author of all time thanks to his previous two books, the Rosie Project and Rosie Effect, so, as long a shot as it was, I knew I’d be the worst daughter ever if I didn’t call up my mom and tell her the news. Despite the very short notice, and the event being on a weeknight, she managed to show up, my dad in tow, and we all got to hear Simsion talk about his new book, and got the book signed afterward too.
Looking at the history of my relationship with my mother is by default looking at my history with books, and looking at both helps reveal why I’ve always thought of books as warm, welcoming environments. I’m dedicating this post to my mom today because she’s why I care enough about books to create a book blog in the first place. Mom, all this, including this post for you, only happened because of you and everything you did to help my little book-loving brain grow. Happy Mother’s Day.