From the first day I can remember (that's around age 3 or so, I think), I remember my parents reading. They read all the time, every day. On family vacation car trips, one of them would read aloud to the other while he/she was driving. They instilled the love of reading in me and my sister at an early age. When we went to the grocery store, if we were well-behaved, we didn't get a toy...we got a Little Golden Book (I still have all of them too...thanks to my wonderful mom). Both of my parents are still avid readers, especially my mom. She reads more (and faster) than I do. I recommend books to them, and they read them. Dad reads more horror so those are the ones I recommend to him. With Mom, it's horror too, but also literary fiction and sometimes historical fiction. As far as my right to read, they never restricted what I read. When I was about ten, I started reading more adult books and they were fine with it. They trusted my judgment and knew that if I ever became confused, I would come to them for answers. We were very open in that way. I really feel such deep gratitude that they encouraged and nurtured my love of reading.
A funny story, as an aside, regarding my dad. My mom and I used to visit her dad several years back before he died (RIP) and every time I saw him, he would say this, "When you all used to come visit, your dad always had his nose in a book." I can just imagine him as a young man, sitting there reading while visiting family. It makes me smile.
I must also give a shout out to my high school English teacher, Mrs. Fitch. I had her for three out of four years. In her class, we read Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and Henry Miller's The Crucible. She always made the study of these works so interesting. She also knew that I loved to read, and recommended books to me all the time. It was because of her that I read one of my favorite books of all time, The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel. She was my favorite teacher and I will never forget her.
Who influenced you?
Here are some book marks you can print out, courtesy of the ALA. Click here.