If you 've read anything about me, you probably already know that I love books. I have no idea where this love came from or how and why it developed, but I know the love of books is part of me.
I have no recollection of my parents reading to me as a youngster. I was the eldest of five kids, so my mom had her hands full. My dad worked long hours in his pharmacy. My first memory of letters, words, and sentences was when I was in first grade. I remember using the little box of letters to build words. Maybe that's where I fell in love with words. I don't think they make those little letter boxes anymore, but just cut out the letters in the photo to the right and you've got the idea.
In third grade, the craze was to read the Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene. I think I read them all--some twice. One of my classmates bought every book, and then she shared them with the rest of the girls in the class. It was like her own library-share. I couldn't wait for my turn.
I started reading all kinds of books then. The Ramona books by Beverly Cleary, the Bobbsey Twins by Laura Lee Hope, the Donna Parker Series by Marcia Levin, and the Cherry Ames series by Helen Well were some of my favorites. If my mother could, she'd probably say I read too much. When I became a teen, my reading intensified. I was always in the library of my high school, and I toted home tons of books. The challenge then was to find a quiet spot to read. Remember, I said I was the oldest of five children. My favorite spot was to duck down on the floor between the twin beds in my bedroom. That worked for a while, until my mother found me out.
As a young mother, I spent my years reading as many Russian novels as I could. I loved Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, and Pasternak. Those guys had no lack of words! Many of those books have nearly a thousand pages. I loved being carried back in time. My imagination soared as the characters cavorted across the pages in horse-drawn carriages or dressed in billowing ball-gowns. It was a different era. It transposed me to a different world.
I'm still an avid reader, but I have to admit it's hard to find time to read for pleasure. Most of my reading is directed at learning more about brain injury, preparing to interview a guest on my radio show, or delving into a topic about brain injury for a panel discussion.
To be honest, I still tote tons of books home from my town library, and I do steal some minutes to read. I guess some things will never change.
I am the author of Prisoners without Bars: A Caregiver's Tale. It's the true story of how my husband almost left me--three times.