Q: Who most influenced you to read?
A: It's difficult to narrow down to one person. When I was young I remember my Grandma would read me (very animatedly) stories of Faeries and Unicorns. She could spin quite a tale of "her interpretation of Irish folklore" and dragged me out into the woods and gardens and down my the lake to seek out various mystical creatures. As I got older I discovered few peers that would join me on such hunts and NO TV or Movie came close, so I started reading the books Grandma kept in her den; books from which she translated the creatures we hunted. I spent a lot of my adolescence daydreaming, drawing, painting, writing and crafting these "friends" (I'd felt closer to them than any human). By the time I'd become a Mommy, Grandma was old, dementia was settling in, she was mostly lost. But every so often she'd climb her way through her hazed mind and look me clearly in the eyes and ask if I still look for the faeries. Of Course I did. She'd remind me of their cunning deceiptful beauty, and ask if I'd told her Grandchildren about them yet. When I told her yes, her eyes lit up like stars and I realized this is me passing on my culture, my heritage, to the next generation. I eventually lost my Grandmother. Our hunts persisted for a long time, but I needed more info; more dreams; more creatures, to share with my babes and maintain my own curiosity. So I started reading her books again. Then started researching those books, finding the authors inspirations, asking for recommendations for similar reads, and dumped some fuel on my reading fire. I live my books, if only in my head, and I recreate scenes to enact with my children (even though some may think they're 'too old for my shenanigans'). This has spread to one hell of a book network and people are recreating the passion I started with in their own lives. Aside from the fun part of reading, I get a form of Literary Therapy, too. Reading reconnects me to my childhood, rescues me from my dramatic or mundane adulthood, and weaves a bond with me children connecting them back to their Irish, German, and Scandinavian ancestors.
Wow, that wasn't supposed to be that long. Sorry.