A Reader with a capital R

It was a bright sunny morning in 1987 when I sat beside the chunky wooden shelf next to the couch and looked at the colourful array of books. I chose a heavy board book with a yellow cover and a story about the Care Bears. I laid on the floor and began to read aloud to myself. I always read aloud whenever I had a book. I couldn’t understand how the adults in my family read silently. It seemed like something verging on witchcraft – keeping all those words inside their heads somehow. I turned the page and was confronted by the word “between.” I scrunched up my face in concentration as I worked hard to pronounce the word. I struggled and struggled and finally decided that the word was pronounced “bet-win.” I had no idea what that word meant but I had read it. I was four and this is my earliest memory of reading on my own.