My father passed away a week and a half ago. I don’t normally go into anything too personal here, but in a way he’s very relevant to this weblog.
I’ve never met someone who read as much as he did. It was what he loved to do, more than anything else. He would always have a book or an e-reader with him. I like to think I read quite a bit, especially when I’m really enjoying a novel, but he kept up the pace constantly for his entire life. He’s the only person I’ve ever seen read in a casino.
He could read fast too. He’d often recommend a series for me to read, and when I’d see they were already ten chunky novels in, I’d usually shy away. That’s a commitment for me to get through, but for him it was nothing. I’ve been looking through his library this last week, and I hope to read a few of his old recommendations over the next year or so. I’ll at least read the introductory novel for a couple of series and see if they grab me.
He read until the end. When he was first told he had weeks to live, one of the first comments to come out of his mouth was that he’d always wanted to read Witches of Karres because he’d read the sequel accidentally without realizing it was a sequel. This wasn’t all that surprising to those who knew him.
I wouldn’t have started this blog if it wasn’t for him, because I doubt books would be as important to me without him. I was surrounded by hundreds of his books growing up. I read them, I drew in them (unfortunately), I made forts out of them – they were just a constant feature of the landscape. Still today, one of my earliest memories is of my dad reading The Hobbit to me. As I grew older, the main topic of discussion when I came home to visit would often be what we were reading.
I’ll miss those talks, and I’ll miss him.