Reading has always been a part of happy memories I share with my family. I remember sitting on my parents' bed and being read to as a three year old. I remember loving a haunted house book with Mickey Mouse in it and Cinderella--I have a sinking suspicion that I asked for many repeats of the same books over and over. When I was a little bit older my dad read me Treasure Island, a perfectly scary bedtime adventure story. Christmas time was a given for story telling--my mom would always have a few good Christmas stories she found in books, magazines or from friends and would read them aloud during some family time.
A few times when we took an extended road trip, my mom selected a really good novel to read aloud. She read us the condensed (thank goodness!) version of Les Miserables, and then a particulary good read-aloud, The Count of Monte Cristo. I think we pushed her to keep going until she was literally hoarse.
Not only did I develop a love of good literature, but we had a lot of fun reading together. Listening to my mom read was as entertaining as any movie--and it brought us together. We could stop and comment on an interesting part, or something might foster a particular discussion. In any case it was a great family activity, and one that I hope to keep going in my family.
For Randy's birthday last year, I bought him a copy of Treasure Island--which coincidentally was one of his favorite movies growing up (the Charlton Heston/Christian Bale version). I can't wait for him to read it to our son.