Venita’s Love of Books

Venita is my mother, and on Sunday she and my dad celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary!  In honor of that momentous occasion, here’s the post my mom did last year about something else she loves deeply.

My name is Venita and Saturday is my wedding anniversary.  Jay & I have been married for 33 years and he is the love of my life.  I could tell what I love about him, but this is a different kind of love story.  This is about my love of books.

The first book I remember loving was a Little Golden Book titled Little Pee Wee.  My parents Venita's Love of Books via Love at First Bookand brothers read it to me when I was a child.  It was about a teeny tiny dog named Little Pee Wee that was in the circus because he was so small.  Then one day he began to grow and was the size of a regular dog and was no longer special so he had to leave the circus, I cried all the time at this part.  As miracles would happen, Little Pee Wee kept on growing and growing and growing and before too long, he really wasn’t Little Pee Wee any longer.  He returned to the circus and everyone was happy.  The End.  I wish I had that book now.  Every once in a while I try to find a copy, but I haven’t located one yet.  OMG!  I just looked online and found it through Amazon.  In 7 – 14 days I will have my own copy again!

I vividly remember watching the movie version of Fahrenheit 451 whenever it played on TV back in the 60’s.  I was obsessed by a society that secretly carried on the books within their collective memories to future generations.  I am ashamed to say that I never have read this wonderful book.  I guess I will be reading it right after Little Pee Wee.

I didn’t start out being a reader.  Right from the start of first grade, I was a very slow reader and was put in “that group” in school.  Reading was not a very pleasant activity for me.  I was encouraged to read by my parents, and did read some books for pleasure, but it really didn’t click until college when I realized I wasn’t such a bad reader after all.  And then I started to really read for pleasure and knew that books were my friends.  This is when my love affair with books began in earnest!

I love the feeling I get when I walk into a bookstore or library. I love the feeling of being surrounded by words yet unread by me. I love the potential of what I will learn. I love the smell of brand new books and the smell of much loved books. I love that books are waiting patiently for me to grab hold and love them. I love the feel of hard covers, dust jackets, and paperbacks. I love the bookshelves crammed tight. I love the treasures I might find hidden. I love that, when I walk into a bookstore, I am greeted by an old friend who does not judge me, but accepts me as I am and welcomes me back every time with open arms, I mean pages.

What is your love story with books?

You can count on me,

Venita

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28 thoughts on “Venita’s Love of Books

  1. Venita, I don’t know if you have your own blog but if not, you really should! I love that bookshop/library feeling as well. If I’m feeling stressed at work nothing calms me down more than going into the bookshop down the street and being surrounded by all those books. All the possibilities and characters yet to meet…Books and booksellers are my people. 🙂 Happy anniversary to you and Jay!

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  2. Venita, thanks for sharing that very touching story… I’m so glad you found Little Pee Wee. I also found a much-loved book from my childhood (“The Little Lamb”) on Amazon and was so thrilled to be able to read it to my little girl. Happy anniversary and happy reading!

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  3. What a great post. I have much in common with your mom. In our school, it seems students were willy-nilly picked for various tiered “reading groups” based on performance in kindergarten (What? Then we didn’t even read in kindergarten). At any rate, as luck would have it, I was put in the lowest reading group in first grade and carried along that path for a few years, no one really noticing that I was acing my grades. But then when I was in fourth grade, a teacher “saw something” in me, and had me tested. I went from being in the lowest reading group to the gifted reading group. I wrote to that teacher later, as a college student, to let him know that his simple act of observation — and the act of reading — changed my life. So words, to me, are magical, as I think about the way in which the words of my reading group really did pave the way to my future and future successes. I will always have a love affairs with words, with books …

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    • As a former elem teacher, we luckily test kids over and over again on their reading, in order to find those hidden gems (like you!). For instance, my last year, when I taught K, I had a kid who was quiet in one of my “middle” groups. I hadn’t realized she was a FABULOUS reader, but then one day near the beginning of the year, I had her read to me, and found out she was reading on a 3rd grade level! Sometimes students slip through the cracks, but it’s our jobs as teachers to prevent that as much as possible. I’m glad a teacher grabbed you while you were still young and saw that potential in you.

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  4. Thanks everyone for your comments on my re-post. It means so much that you took the time to make a comment and that my post touched you in a special way.

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  5. Yay! I love that your Mom guest posted on your blog, and that you re-posted it so I could see it! I also resonated so deeply with her love affair with bookstores and libraries. In fact, you may or may not have seen this post already, Rebecca, but I wrote about this very thing this past Feb: http://www.thinkingcloset.com/2013/02/03/romanced-by-bookstores/

    Hopefully we get to hear from Venita (awesome name by the way) from time to time! This was fantastic.

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    • Lauren, Thanks for sharing that link! I hadn’t seen it yet. I don’t know when I found your blog, but I might have missed that post. I’m going to check it out a little later today. 🙂

      I’m glad my mom wants to post on occasion, too. It’s nice since not only is she my mom, but she’s one of a very tiny group of people who can recommend me a book and I’ll accept the suggestion no questions asked (aka because it will prob be awesome).

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  6. I love that your mom guest posted! What I also love is that even though she didn’t start out as a reader, she clearly passed on its importance to her children because kids don’t become readers without a strong supporter of it at home, so double high-five to Venita!

    Oh, and happy anniversary!

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  7. Lovely post! Just the other day I was sitting in the lounge with the book and got distracted by my thoughts about why I loved reading and when I started. I remember feeling a rush of thankfulness that my parents, especially my mother, instilled a love of reading from a very young age. I am so happy that she taught me that. Your post is just another reminder!

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  8. I loved this post!
    I’m glad now Venita is about to get her first favourite book again, this is lovely!
    And the part about Venita’s parents encouraging her to be better at reading is also great 🙂
    I think most of us are very lucky for the parents we have.

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