The writer realized that, as a child, he
didn’t read and wasn’t read to. Also, he
had difficulty in school reading. He
recalls that with lingering discomfort.
But, he had never thought about not
reading as a child. It struck him as
ironic that he, a writer, hadn’t read
as a child. He had read to his children,
every evening and they read daily and
to this day continue to read and read
to their children. They all get and give
books for gifts. In anticipation, he can
count on a book or two for his birthday
from his son and daughter. He remem-
bers, as a youngster, standing by the
bookshelf in his house, the only book-
shelf, built into a small wall in the hall
and fingering the books. He liked to
stroke the backs of the books and
look at the names, cocking his head
sideways. There was Les Miserables,
which was a funny spelling for “Less
Miserable” and Don Quixote, a book
about a guy named Don Coyote. He
remembers wondering what was inside.
Once in a while, he would notice that
a book was upside down and he would
turn it right side up. At some point
in time he began to take the books
off the shelf and read. He hasn’t

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