My Mother Read to Me

#BlockChallenge Day 18/30

“Goodnight Moon” by Shahab Shamshirsaz (

My mother read to me. My memories of those early books are foggy, but she read to me and read to me and read to me. My imagination began to soar and my mind began to grow. With time, we began reading together. And then I was reading to her. Dr. Seuss. Little Critter Books. Winnie the Pooh. Little Golden Books. Berenstain Bears. She taught me to love books, not just the words but the pages as well. She gave me a passport to an imagined world and with each new book, she stamped the Visa for our new adventure.

My mother bought me books and took me to the library. Amelia Bedelia. Anything by Judy Blume. Anything by Beverly Cleary. The BabySitter’s Club. Island of the Blue Dolphins. Julie of the Wolves. Nancy Drew. Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys. Every time we “went to town,” (by “town”, I mean the Wal-mart almost an hour away), my other would buy me a book if I’d been “good.” I almost always was good and I almost always picked a Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys book because:

1) I loved Nancy Drew

2) the books where she solved mysteries with those brothers had far more pages

Summers were for summer reading programs at the library. Once a week, my mother would take me to the county library and let me loose. She’d even help carry my books to the car because I always checked out more than I could carry. I checked out more than I could carry, but never more than I could read in a week. My mother set limits. My mother taught me patience. She taught me that the books would be there the following week. The story would wait for me.

My mother let me read while other children played, while other children watched TV. But she taught me other things were important. Spending time with family. Enjoying the sunshine (which she also taught me could be done with a book in hand!). Getting dirty. Family dinners that started with a thanks to God for the many blessings we’d been given. The book could wait.

As I grew older, so did my tastes. R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike became my go-to choices for being “good.” The Babysitter’s Club turned into Sweet Valley High. Somewhere a long the way, I started reading V.C. Andrews, Anne Rice, Stephen King, and Harlequin Romances. My mother taught me about the Bronte sisters and Harper Lee. She also introduced me to Michael Crichton and Siddhartha.

My mother fostered a love of reading that will be with me all the days of my life. And on Mother’s Day, in addition to all the many things she’s given me and sacrifices she’s made for me, I want to thank her for reading that very first book to me.

Tommi Elizabeth is a practicing attorney who lives in North Carolina with her husband, four dogs, and two cats. She firmly believes that there are no problems that cannot be solved with a cup of coffee and a puppy. Her first novel, Fire & Ice: The Return, is available on Amazon and she is currently working on a collection of creative non-fiction essays and a dog show murder mystery.