Have you ever been shamed for what you read? In childhood or later? For me it’s more about the shame I shovel onto myself for just about everything. Right now I’m working to get my novels podcast-ready and it takes everything I have to feel like my writing, whether print or audio, is presentable.
The very first time I set pen to paper and held a book, they became as much confidants as friends.
When it comes to reading material, as a kid, there was plenty of screaming and worse over whether my older brothers could buy and collect comic books. Later, in secret, they pointed out steamy lines in some of the popular fiction my mom read. Given my insular existence, it was only years later that what was going on between the pages made sense. Our mother was an avid reader and didn’t seem to mind that I read whatever she did. As an adult, however, when I mentioned reading some of her books, she was scandalized.
In her defense, maybe she hadn’t noticed because I always had my nose in one book or another. Weirdly enough, at the age of twelve her collected short stories by Marquis de Sade fascinated me. Their sadomasochistic sexuality was way over my head. It was his “good people never get rewarded” that rang truer than anything else I’d encountered before. Ditto for the “life sucks and then you die” philosophies of the rest of the French authors on our coffee table.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume, first published in 1970, continues to change lives through its sensitivity, candor, and humor about what it’s like to not be quite a child anymore…
Here blogger, DJ Sakata, shares her reading journey…
Fiction Love by DJ Sakata
Aloha to you lovers of tails and tales. I am DJ Sakata/Empress DJ/Honolulubelle, and a new friend of da-AL. We met on Goodreads and were instant fangirls. She asked me to sprinkle a few words on her blog of my love of reading. As a child and well into my teens I used to hide under the covers and read with a flashlight as my strict and priggish mother would chide and punish me if I was caught as according to her, “Reading fiction is a waste of time.” Hmm, then I am now a total wastrel who squanders the majority of her free minutes indulging in such foolishness. I have an eclectic reading palate, but my favorite will always be women’s fiction.
Since I’ve retired – which BTW is oh, so, sweet – I read all day in my cozy little nest with all the windows open, I live in Hawaii so I can do that year-round – don’t hate me, I’ve earned it. I do occasionally put my Kindle down when my husband whines for food and/or attention. I thumb my nose at my mother’s ridiculously misguided notion as I’ve noticed my vocabulary and spelling have markedly improved with the increased perusal. I am an incredibly lazy blogger, but I do have one called Books and Bindings, which is just a small personal blog where I can toss up my silly little reviews that no one ever reads, but I don’t really care about that. If you find you are all caught up on Ms. da-AL’s posts and have a few minutes or an interest in seeing what nonsense I’ve recently read which my Bible banging mother would most certainly not approve, then come and see, or not. I’m happily whiling away in my little nook while lovingly tapping my Kindle and sipping Moscato 😉
Have you been shamed for the books you read? Or write?