For The Love of Reading – Repost

Today is the anniversary of my dad’s passing into the great unknown. It’s been three years since he left us, so in honor of his memory, I’m reposting one of the first blog posts I wrote.

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My Dad

This photo was taken during our last family vacation in January 2009.

I inherited my nose from my dad. I also inherited his calves, his easy going personality and his love of reading. He died in 2009 but my all time favourite picture of him shows him sitting on the beach in a lawn chair, a book in his hands with the sun shining down on his head.

The first book I remember holding was a beautiful hardcover copy of Cinderella, filled with strange words I couldn’t read and beautiful pictures I adored. Once I learned to read, I worked my way through Dick and Jane, on to Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, and in between, the back of every cereal box my mom ever bought.

When I ran out of reading material, I would sneak into my dad’s book stash, which he wisely kept in the garage, and read his Harlequin romances. He also had some racier novels there, stories with – gasp! – sex, and if my mom knew I was reading those books – heck, if she knew my dad was reading those books – she would have banned them from our reading material.

My youngest son restored an old cat that he thought his grandpa might have used back in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s. When the restoration was complete, he took his grandpa out to “unveil” it. My dad was so excited to see this piece of machinery, he scrambled up on it in about 2.3 seconds, quite a feat for an old guy with a bad hip and leg.

These days I’m allowed to read whatever I want and I want to read a lot. In fact, I want to read more than I have time for. Favourite authors include Jennifer Crusie, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Barbara Samuel (O’Neal), Ann Voss Peterson, Linda Style, Susan Vaughan, Virginia Kelly, Joshilyn Jackson, and Lisa Lutz, just to name a few.  And with the arrival of the e-reader, not only is my to-be-read pile contained within one small device instead of all over the office floor, but I’ve discovered indie authors like our own Women Unplugged bloggers Dianne Venetta, Christy Hayes, Patricia Yager and Sharla Lovelace. If you haven’t read their books yet, run to your nearest e-reader and download them now. I’ll wait …. 

Shortly before my dad died, he gave me the book Volcano by Richard Doyle. When he told me I had to read this book, there was a tone in his voice that I recognized so well. It was awe and wonder for a can’t-put-it-down story, emotions I too experience whenever I fall in love with a story or an author’s voice. Although I have yet to read the book – I’ve become more of a love-to-laugh-out-loud reader – Volcano will forever remain on my keeper shelf because it was the last time my dad shared his love of reading with me.

This is how I will always remember my dad, with a book in his hands and another waiting to be read. This is, hopefully, how my children will remember me, too.

So who did you inherit your reading gene from? Who are some of your favourite authors and books?

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About Sheila Seabrook

Author of Single Title Romantic Comedy and Women's Fiction

Posted on November 28, 2012, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Beautiful post, Sheila! I loved it even more the second time around. 🙂

  2. What a lovely tribute to your dad, Sheila. I attribute my reader beginnings to my mom who enrolled me in a Book-of-the-Month club long ago, before I was ten years old. I’ve been reading ever since. I adore Barbara Freethy and read anything of hers I can get my hands on, as well as Jodi Picoult, Richard Paul Evans, Nicholas Sparks, and Debbie Macomber. There are many more, but those are the top guys and gals.

  3. Oh Sheila, I’m so sorry. I relate and my heart is sad: we lost my dad two and a half years ago. I still miss him every day. What makes it better are the memories, like you with these pictures, and the books.

    From my dad I got my dark brown eyes (and poor eyesight), sensitive nature, and goofball sense of humor. The reading gene came from my mom. She and books seemed inseparable in my growing up years.

    • Thank goodness we have all these memories, Janna. It would be aweful to lose those, wouldn’t it? How cool that you got your goofball sense of humor from your dad. My dad loved to tease and he passed that on to all five of us kids. 🙂

  4. Sheila, thank you so much for posting about your dad and how he passed down his love of reading to you. What tender memories to keep in your heart.

    I think my gene also came from my dad, stoked by my middle brother and reinforced by those wonderful woman of my time … the librarians 🙂

    Too many to name, I’ll tell you what we are reading this month in my book club. It’s classic month (suggested by me) and the book is A Room With a View, by EM Forster. I’ve also read most of the books pub’d by the women here, and many of the writers in our on-line WF chapter. I keep a hard copy in the kitchen and read my PC Kindle in my office. Good stuff should follow us wherever we go !!

  5. A lovely tribute! Thanks for re-sharing!

  6. It’s so wonderful to be able to look at such a wonderful gift your dad left for you.

    I got my love of reading from my mother. She had five of us, so there wasn’t too much downtime to read, but she made the time, and took us for regular trips to the library to encourage our love for it.

    • The library is one of my favourite places in the entire world, Amber. Like your mom, mine made sure we had regular access to the local library so that we always had a ready supply of books. 🙂

  7. Hi, Sheila! I remember this post and the love of books your dad shared with you. The post, like VOLCANO, is a keeper.

    My mother passed her love of reading to me, but it was my father who gave me LITTLE WOMEN. Once I read it, the Bobbsey twins and Cherry Ames books couldn’t hold my attention.

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