184/365 The books that set my (literary) course in life

I picture my mother answering the door to a well-groomed woman in a tweed suit. She asks my mother if she has children and my mother replies that she has a 5-year old. My mother invites her in, the woman tells my mother that a “child who reads is a child who leads,” my mother believes her and plops down over $700 in today’s money for a set of books and supplements to ensure her daughter becomes a leader.

What probably happened was my kindergarten teachers suggested this book set for all their students.

However it happened, I am grateful that my parents paid more than they could afford for this wonderful set of 12 My Book House Books. It begins with a volume of nursery rhymes, moves on to fairy tales, through intermediate stories and finishes with the classics.

It was because of these books that I understood references in books that my peers did not. I knew about the Water Babies and The Back of the North Wind by the time I was in 4th grade. I’d read the story about the Nutcracker ballet in second grade. I learned to love literature at a tender age.