In March we released The Truth Lies Buried by Morton S. Gray in paperback. Today on the blog, Morton emphasises the importance of reading in childhood and talks about her own reading experiences as a child.
My mother always read to me when I was young. As a result, I was reading myself aged four and well before I went to school a couple of days after my fifth birthday. I have fond memories of snuggling up to my mother’s side and listening to stories of fairies, giants and twins. I still have a few of the books from this time. Reading was just something we did for enjoyment and togetherness.
We used to go as a family to the local library every Saturday morning and all head off to different sections – me to children’s, Mom to fiction and Dad to local history. Our house was always full of books. Mom and Dad belonged to mail order book clubs and books would arrive in the post at regular intervals. In fact, the headboard of their bed incorporated shelves which had loads of books on them. I have no pictures of it, but can visualise it so easily in my mind – I wish I still had that headboard now!
Nan used to read to me on Sundays too, as well as teaching me to play card games. She usually read Rupert stories, pronounced the character names adorably strangely and tended to fall asleep in the middle of a sentence, leaving me to wonder how the story ended until she woke up.
My infant and junior school essays were full of caves, buried treasure and big brothers, stories mainly influenced by my love of Enid Blyton books. If you look closely at my novels, you can still see these influences even now, as I don’t believe my themes have progressed far from those early days! I still have a set of Famous Five and Secret Seven books which my nan sourced from somewhere.
I think I must end this post with a plea – if you have children or grandchildren please read to them, engender this love of books which will help them through life, bereavement, sickness and all that this world can throw at them. I truly believe it is vitally important in this digital age that we don’t lose the love of reading a good story (even if it is read digitally). I don’t think I would be an author without these early influences.