I have a short essay, “The Library: It’s a Family Thing,” in this wonderful new book: Flashlight Memories, which is all about people’s early experiences with reading and books, otherwise known in academia as “literacy autobiographies” or “literacy narratives.” Let me tell you, identifying and writing about where your love of literacy comes from can be a very powerful thing.
And let me tell you, I am one sucker for a good literacy narrative, so I love curling up with these reading memoirs as a reward at the end of a long, stressful day. Memoirs like the one from the woman whose mother didn’t understand her longing to read in bed at night, who didn’t really understand her daughter’s longing to read period, but whose truck-driver grandfather encouraged her by secretly giving her a flashlight and an apply to snack on while she read, then secretly provided her with batteries and reading snacks for the rest of her childhood. The stories are wonderfully written, not treacly, just good stories.
So what about you? What’s your literacy story?
Post it in the comments section by May 15. I’ll do a drawing May 15 and send a copy of Flashlight Memories to the winner!
PS My essay concerns my mother’s childhood reading and library habit; the kicker is, that picture on the front really could have been her as a child.