Monday, November 30

Posted by Laurel Garver on Monday, November 30, 2009 3 comments
True confessions: as a kid, I was a bit of a rebel when it came to reading. I come from a family of anti-sports book lovers. Our coffee table was always piled high with magazines. Long car trips usually meant a read-aloud trip to Narnia. Dad devoured historical fiction, especially Civil War stories. Mom loved a good mystery or character-driven mainstream story. My brother gobbled through adventure stories. Me? I preferred being out in the woods, building forts on the stream bank and imagining my own adventures.

In seventh grade, my reading teacher picked up on my rebellious reluctance to read and had a sixth sense about how pre-teens think. She called me over to her closet chock full of paperbacks one day with a "Psst. Come 'ere. I hear you take horseback riding lessons. I've got a little something you might like. Our little secret, though, okay?" She pointed me to a shelf of Walter Farely books and the addictive YA horse stories by Patsey Gray (whose stuff is now considered "rare" and "collectible").

It took just one of Grey's books to get me hooked. From there I devoured every horse book in my small-town library and even re-read the Narnia books on my own. It surprised me to no end how captivating Lewis was in my own internal voice rather than my mom's external one. Perhaps the magic was more sparkling when I didn't have the mind-numbing miles between Pennsylvania and my grandparents' place in western Montana as a soporific backdrop to the experience.

Were you a reader as a kid? What were the gateway books that drew you in to a lifetime habit of reading?


  1. Hi, Laurel! Thanks so much for visiting me at Book Dreaming and for leaving a post. :)

    I have always been a reader. Always. A few of my grade school favorites were Follow My Leader by James Garfield, The Princess and the Goblin, and the Betsy series.

  2. Thanks for stopping by to post, Shannon. Princess and the Goblin is George MacDonald, right? My husband read loads of his stuff as a kid; I've only read MacDonald's adult fantasy, Phantastes. He might be a good author to add to the read-alouds I'm enjoying with my 7-yo (and making up for my childhood anti-reading rebellion).

  3. Narnia. No doubt. Parents taught me to read when I was 4, read Chronicles of Narnia when I was 5. I don't think my parents knew what a fantasy geek it would make me... :)

    Other than that, George MacDonald, Lewis's other fiction, John White, Stephen Lawhead...

    Oh, heck. I can't even begin to list 'em all. But it all started with Narnia.