For Love of Books


This week we’re blogging about first loves. And as I sat with my son on my lap yesterday, reading him a picture book, I realized that my first love was the same as it is for many children–my mother. My earliest memories of my mother involve her sitting next to me on my bed, reading me stories. The image reminds me of a Strickland Gillian poem that I’ve always loved.

The Reading Mother

by: Strickland Gillian

I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea.
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth;
“Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath.
I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.
I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness lent with his final breath.
I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings-
Stories that stir with an upward touch.
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be —
I had a Mother who read to me.

Image credit: Alice in Wonderland by George Dunlop Leslie, from Old-Fashioned Charm

Author: Susan Gloss

Susan Gloss is the author of the novel VINTAGE (William Morrow/HarperCollins, March 2014). When she's not writing, toddler wrangling, or working as an attorney, she blogs at Glossing Over It and curates an online vintage store, Cleverly Curated.

3 Replies to “For Love of Books”

  1. My mother used to read to me. My father also, but he was less enthusiastic about it. The first time I ever read a book on my own was because my father was reading to me and then had to go do something else and I was impatient to find out what happened next. Which may have been his plan, of course. 🙂

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