Thursday, October 04, 2007

A lifelong love

If you know me in real life you may assume that this will be a love poem to my lady wife. As important to my life as she is (she's my Rushmore) this is about a love of longer standing than even my lady love.

It's reading.

While I cannot claim to have learned to read as early as my darling daughter (who began reading at 2.5 years old. She's such a show off!) I can not remember a time when I couldn't and didn't read. It became the bane of my mother's life that her eldest son was constantly inside reading instead of outside. So I'd take my book outside and read there. Seemed like a reasonable compromise to me but never seemed to satisfy her. I read at meals, before I turn out the light almost every night, in the bathroom (I'm sorry, was that TMI? ;-) ), at virtually any moment I can. And I've done it all my life.

Well today is the birthday of the man who had a profound impact on my love of reading. A man I never met and that until today I never realized just how MUCH of an impact he'd really had.

Edward L. Stratemeyer.

Never heard of him? Don't worry most people haven't. But I bet you know some of his characters and if you're of a certain age you know them well. They include:

The Hardy Boys
Nancy Drew
Tom Swift
The Bobbsey Twins

Stratemeyer was the brains behind all of them. He created the characters, outlined the stories and then turned them over to his syndicate of writers. Literally a fiction factory.

The Hardy Boys, Joe and Frank (and their buddy Biff!), Tom Swift (and his flying electronic whosis) and the Bobbsey Twins (the first series of books and characters I learned to love Bert and Nan, Flossie and Freddie. Nan is always described as a slim brown eyed brunette. Guess what kind of girl I fell in love with later in life? LOL!) these were my first friends in print. From them grew a love that has become central to my life.

I have a friend, a highly intelligent, talented lady who really doesn't like reading at all. I once got the impression she really thinks of it as a bit of a waste of time. This is beyond my ability to comprehend. Reading ranks up there with breathing, and eating. Often I'm reading more than one thing (book, magazine, etc) at any given time.

So here's to my friend and mentor in the love of reading. The 145th anniversary of the birth of Edward Stratemeyer. I never could have done it without you.


1 comment:

PseudoPiskie said...

I was a voracious reader when I was a kid. Read every biography and horse story and fairy tale in the New Castle Public Library Children's division and had started on the adult book when we moved - I was 11. I took a flashlight to bed and read under the covers or in the closet.

But I also grew up outside without books. Our mothers threw us out of the house regularly - sun, rain or snow - to learn to survive among each other. Good training as we had to rely on our imaginations. The books provided good background material for that.