The Reader – #atozchallenge


@Sally Rosenbaum -Artist

How different my life would be with out reading and writing. When I was quite young, my father built special bookcases so I could shelve the many books he bought and gave to me; classic children’s literature like Treasure Island, Peter Pan and Tom Sawyer. As a recognized midwest printer/topographer – The Black Cat Press in Chicago – his own interest was limited to the printing of books. It was my mother who was the reader, and read to me until the day I finally slipped off her lap able to read by myself. I have my parents to thank for the life long pleasure of reading.

My father once asked me how I planned to be a writer if I couldn’t spell. I was told that my quick response was, “I’ll hire a secretary.” Every time I use spell check, which is often, I think of him. How amused he would be that I am a writer and have the ability to check my spelling without knowing how to spell the word in the first place! (The problem when told to look a word up in the dictionary,)

I can’t imagine my life without reading books, usually one right after another. I write hoping to give a reader the pleasure of naming for them what they cannot name themselves; new language that expresses his or her own experiences. I have been told that Greening of a Heart has done that for people. If you are a reader, your favorite authors are probably the ones that give you this gift of language that you can appropriate anew.

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her:
This entry was posted in A to Z Blog Challenge - April 2013 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Reader – #atozchallenge

  1. Angeline says:

    My Dad was always in charge of bedtime stories, reading us sci-fi classics like War of the Worlds and Day of the Triffids. Other times we’d demand the poor man made up a story for us; bless him, he always obliged!

  2. Jagoda Perich-Anderson, M.A. says:

    My mom read to my brother and me every night before bed. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love stories and I still can’t go to sleep without reading for at least a little.
    Visiting from AtoZ

  3. Hi Stepheney,
    Your words have brought memories flooding back to me. Both my parents enjoyed reading; my mother read to us during the day but it was usually my father who read the bedtime story. They both also loved solving crosswords although my father took on the more difficult ones. It was from him that I learnt the value of using a thesaurus; he loved to play with words and my family had its own way of pronouncing lots of oddly spelt ones like yacht. Teenagers now seem to invent new words and then discard their use at such a pace I doubt whether they are recorded anywhere other than in emails and text messages.

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