I think it all started with Puss in Boots. Or more specifically with Il gatto con gli stivali. This was the first book that I remember reading in Italian, come to think of it, it was the first book I remember reading on my own. It was to be the beginning of lifelong love of reading and books. I remember as a child my being dropped off at the library with my best friend while our mothers ran errands. We stayed there happily reading, finding new books, sharing our favorites with each other. When our mothers arrived to bring us home we would inevitably struggle with our small arms full of books to the amused librarian’s check-out desk. I couldn’t think of a better day to spend a rainy afternoon.
Though I prefer fiction, I’ll read almost anything. There’s a book in my car–in case that oil change takes too long; a book in the living room–for when nothing good is playing on any of the 1,000 Fios channels; a book in my purse–of course; and several stacks by the bed. I do not keep books in the bathroom. I may bring one in there to read while soaking in the bath, but that happens entirely too infrequently to justify a shelf in there.
I’ve been given grief over the overflow of books everywhere and my tendency to get lost reading at times. I remember one day out on the Chester River in Maryland, enjoying a relaxing day on our boat with friends. The men were fishing and the women were just about to fall asleep in the sun. And there I was reading the only thing I could find…the tide tables. What can I say?… I forgot my purse.
My desire to “read and talk about it” led me to graduate school in literature and then to work in publishing, which is where I am now. Of course, taking the long and winding road, it’s also led me from city to country; to Virginia, Toronto, Maryland, the midwest, upstate New York, Florida, and back to Virginia; as well as to friends, polo, love, marriage, acting, karaoke, and the racetrack (not necessarily in that order).
So mille grazie to that Puss in Boots, he really got me hooked! I wonder if it’s just a coincidence that I’m a Leo. Hmm.