On Reading (Part One)


On Reading

I have loved books and reading for as long as I can remember. This is most likely because one of my grandmothers was a school teaching and introduced me to books well before I started kindergarten. I think I began reading for my own pleasure in grade five. One of my friends had a voracious appetite for the writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Most of this author’s books were about Tarzan of the Apes or were science fiction novels about visiting Mars. I noticed that my friend appeared to have an addiction for these books. He was often reprimanded by our teacher for reading Tarzan books during math class. My buddy, John, had one of those old desks where you could lift off the top of the desk and it would remain in the upright position. John thought that if he kept his desk top up the teacher would not know that he was reading a book instead of following along with today’s math lesson.

The conclusion that I drew from this was that the novels that John was reading had to be awfully good if he was willing to risk feeling the wrath of our teacher. I asked John where he obtained his Edgar Rice Burroughs and he said he bought them from The Hudson Bay store. In those days there weren’t any suburban malls. There was only downtown Winnipeg and that’s where The Bay could be found. For a time I remember going to the Bay every Saturday morning to buy a new Tarzan book.

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