I consider myself lucky to have grown up in a house where my parents encouraged reading. My mom enrolled us in tons of books clubs, so I constantly got new books in the mail. And every night, reading books was our "mommy and daughter time." We'd cozy up in my bed and she'd read a book to me. Sometimes the Bible, sometimes a Little Golden Book, sometimes the same Dr. Seuss book she'd already been forced to read three times that week.
I devoured books, and I'm not ashamed to say that my mother continued reading aloud to me at night until I was a teenager. I remember the last thing we read together was one of the books in the Left Behind series. Then, like all teenagers do, I got too cool for Mom, and we stopped. But the thing about it is, the books stayed with me. I still read tons, and I read a lot as a teenager too. I still love being read aloud to, which I don't think reoccurred to me until my junior year of college when my boyfriend and I would read books aloud to each other while we cuddled on the couch. Even when it's artificial, like when I turn on my Kindle's text-to-speech feature, I still enjoy it.
Books get stored in my heart the way in a way that other forms of media never will be for me. I love movies, but I don't feel like they're a part of me, no matter how many lines I can quote. Music is more intense, but still doesn't matter to me as much as the things I read. My mom showed me how to make books and reading important, and that time that we spent together reading makes it even more a part of my heart. It's as though when I read, no matter where I am, she can be there reading with me.
Wow, after writing this post I'm glad I'm going to go see my mom this weekend. :)