The third Weekly Geek task is to write about fond memories of childhood reading. I have written quite a few posts about books I loved as a child already (here’s a post where I mentioned several) so I thought I would do something a little different this time.

I taught myself to read (my mom tells me) when I was about four. She says it was very sudden — I woke up one morning and I could read. I don’t remember this, but I do have two memories from my very early reading life that I thought I would share because they illustrate aspects of my personality that are still very evident today.

First. I remember having a library book called In the Big City. I loved this book. It was a Dick & Jane type book, but a little longer and somewhat more advanced than simply “See Spot run.” I can very clearly remember the pleasure I felt in being able to read it. I also remember loving the pictures. There was one problem though. I misread the word City in the title — I thought the C was hard. I imagined that for some reason the entire story took place within the gaping maw of a giant kitty. I could not understand why they never mentioned this curious fact in the otherwise-banal story.

So, um, what does this say about my personality that’s still evident today? Well, I never asked about the kitty. I figured it out for myself (at least I thought I did), and came up with a crazy theory on my own. To this day, I would rather figure things out on my own than ask someone else. Often, to my detriment. 😛

Second memory. Another library book, a beginning reader called Ann Likes Red. I did not like this book. I didn’t like seeing Ann spelled without the e (my best friend was named Anne), and I did not like the text font, which was either Futura or a look-alike. Of course I did not have the vocabulary at the time to be able to say that I didn’t like the font. But I have a very clear memory of my awareness that I didn’t like the storybecause I didn’t like the way the words looked on the page. And to this day, of course, I am not only obsessed with typography & design, but I am still, constantly, pondering the relationship between form and content.

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