My father taught me how to read when I was small, but most of my reading-related memories are about being read to. My brother and I can both remember clearly our father reading out loud to us all throughout our childhood. My father had special voices for all the different characters in a story, and for us, it might as well have been a dramatization.
I can remember my father reading the Chronicles of Narnia series and Pilgrim's Progress, but my best memories of him reading to me are of the Redwall series, by Brian Jacques. I was entranced by the series, and when I was reading full chapter books for myself, Redwall was one of the first series I devoured. My father instilled in me a love for stories at a young age, and I took that to heart.
The first time I read through Redwall, I read them in the order they were published. I was meticulous about it, ensuring I didn't accidentally skip an installment. Through details revealed in the stories and characters referenced, I came to realize that the chronological order of the books was different from the publication order. Thus, once I had finished reading them all, I had to read them again in chronological order!
To date, I believe I've read the Redwall series all the way through three times. I also have a well-loved copy of Castaways of the Flying Dutchman that remains one of my favourite books to this day. I was reading Brian Jacques' books long before I was the recommended age, and I think that's a large part of how I came to be reading young adult and adult fiction before I was even a teenager. I discovered some of my favourite authors of all time years before I normally would have, all because I was reading large tomes about Redwall Abbey and Salamandastron as a child.
I don't think there's anything that quite compares to the joy of reading. I'll always be grateful to my father for molding me into a reader at such a young age, because that's a love that's stuck with me throughout my whole life.
Soon I plan to write about some of my favourite authors and why they're my favourites, as well as individual books that have stuck with me for long periods of time. Books are a major part of my life, whether they're my own or someone else's!