My mother had an addiction to reading. From the first time I can remember, I always see my mom with a book in her hand. My father would joke with us that we shouldn’t bother Mom when she was close to the end of a book. If there were fewer pages on the right side than the left, we should watch out.
As I grew up, our house was always filled with books. When we would move, books were the bane of our existence because there was just so many of them. Boxes after boxes of stories she couldn’t leave behind. I would play with them, arranging them by color and author and title. Yeah, I might have a touch of OCD, but I loved organizing my mom’s books.
We moved a lot. Sometimes we had plenty of space and other we had very little, but my father always found a way to keep my mom’s precious books around her. Even when we didn’t have the space for a bookshelf, we put them in closets, cupboards and shelves.
When I was fourteen, I picked up one of my mother’s books. I remember the moment vividly. We were living in one of the smaller places and I was organizing the books at the bottom of the china cabinet. These were the historicals with their bright colors and beautiful dressed people. And I decided to read one. Skye O’Malley by Bertrice Small. Yeah, probably not the best book for a fourteen year old, but I found a whole new world and I was off. I devoured Johanna Lindsey, Jude Deveraux and Julie Garwood. I was on a path.
My father is gone now, so it’s my responsibility to make sure my mother has her books. I know he’s somewhere shaking his head because now she carries her collection around on a Kindle. He would have loved that. My mother reads everything I write. She’s my champion and my biggest fan. She’s the reason I write what I write not only because she exposed me to some of the greatest romance novels written, but she is a woman who knows how to love. She and my father was the first romance I witnessed and it was true and pure through all the hard times.
So Happy Mother’s Day to the best mom in the world. I wouldn’t be here without you.
Sophie Oak writes erotic romance for Siren Publishing