She’s given me so many books that I can’t even begin to count them. She gave me my first book, and a multitude of books after that.
She read them to me, and when I was old enough to read them by myself, she helped me read the words I did not know.
But there was one book my mom gave me that changed my life. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling.
She brought it home from the bookstore for me when I was eight years old. I’m sure she expected it to be just like all the other books I read back then. I would read it over the course of a few days or weeks, and it would go on my bookshelf, nice and neat and tidy, but I probably wouldn’t talk about it again.
My mom didn’t know it would become as much a part of me as the blood in my veins.
I read the book in days, and it was all I could talk about. I took it to the dinner table with me. I splashed spaghetti sauce on the pages, because I couldn’t put it down long enough to finish my dinner. My mom, being the smart woman she is, went back to the bookstore a few days later to get the next one in the series.
I devoured it just as quickly. She brought home the third, and I flew through it.
I had to wait awhile for the fourth to be released, so what did I do with my time?
I re-read the three I had. I couldn’t put them down; they almost never spent more than a few weeks on my shelf at a time. The story was so much more than just a story, and soon it became part of my life. It shaped who I am. It taught me about life and prepared me for what was to come.
My mom brought home a book for me, but she gave me something to love.
She’s given me so many books since then. And others have given me books too. I’m a reader, and books are my perfect gift. But no one…no one…has given me a book like that since I was 8 years old.
And I don’t think anyone ever will.