November 30, 2015

A Reader, A Writer by Susan Barclay

As I look back on my writing journey in this month of remembrance, it’s easy to see how it all began: I was read to as a child.
My grandparents came from very small communities on Canada’s east coast. They didn’t spend years and years in school. But in those days, students memorized lengthy pieces and the poetry of that experience made my grandfather love reading, a pleasure he kindly shared with me. In addition to reading informational books, he and my grandmother read the Bible every day, and when I was three, they introduced me to the library.
What a treasure-trove I discovered there! Shelves and shelves of stories. A world of imagination. Time travel. Space travel. I could go anywhere and everywhere without leaving home.
It was powerful.
I was hooked.
When you instill the love of reading in a child, you encourage her to think and dream. You give her a vocabulary for ideas both sensible and wild. And when she has words, there’s no restraining her. It’s only natural that her communications wind up on paper. Books are her examples, her models, her monuments.
I became a writer because I first became a reader. For that I thank you, Grandpa.
For more of my writing, please visit


  1. I love how you can trace your love of writing back to your grandparents. They gave you an amazing gift in teaching you to love words and reading and now you are carrying it forward to share with others.

  2. Just a reminder to all of us grandparents of how important it is to read to our grandchildren. Thanks Susan.

  3. As a former primary school teacher, I couldn't agree with you more. One of my most enjoyable parts of teaching, parenting, and grandparenting for me has been the wonder of turning kids on to books and to reading and writing. Way to go, Grandpa!

    I also snooped around at your blog post too, Susan, and I like what you've been doing there. Keep it up.


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