Don’t Write Alone | Writing Life

To All the Readers Who Taught Us to Love Books

For Valentine’s Day, some members of the Catapult staff thank the people who encouraged their love of books and reading.

CatapultWho inspired your love of reading and books, and what would you like to say to them?

“A love note to Mom and Dad for bringing me to the library and the bookshop in town frequently, for encouraging me to read and illustrate, to paint the walls in our home, to wander in the woods, to create stories, to write them down and for surrounding me with beautiful books.”



“Mom: Thanks for reading good books to me before, and good books with me now. Long live the mother-daughter book club.”

“To Will, for convincing me to read serious books by pointing out the tiny bits of romance in them. Thank you, dear friend, for tricking me into expanding my literary horizons.”


Harper Perennial

“Mrs. Leys was my second and third grade elementary school teacher. She wore long skirts, tall cozy socks, and drapey sweaters. And in her class, I wrote my very first poems. One day, a raptor rescue center visited our classroom and we stared in awe at an inquisitive falcon with carmel-colored drawers. We were each given a feather from a wild bird to examine and write about. At a different lesson, we took a walk and were told to pick up a stone and write about it. My poem was: ‘A good rock settles in your hand and that means it is calling out your name.’ Thank you, Mrs. Leys, for your enthusiasm and encouragement—and for knowing that every child has creativity in their hearts.”

“To my mom and dad, thank you both for your love for language and books. You inspired and nurtured my curiosity with trips to the library and bookstores. And you both always seemed to have a book or newspaper in hand. Thank you for helping me fall in love with stories.”

need Redwall


“Mama Saxby and Mrs. Outley nurtured my love of reading and helped me to realize my vivacious passion for writing. My mama and my third grade teacher made it their business to ensure that young me had access to various forms of storytelling all while encouraging my belief in the magic of the written word. My mama and my third grade teacher valued the gift of imaginative thinking; Mama Saxby and Mrs. Outley made me feel like reading and writing are my superpower—I’m forever grateful and appreciative of these two earth-angels<333”

H*rry P*tt*r and the H*lf-Bl**d Pr*nc*


“To my dear Bunia: your endless stacks of books on art and mythology taught me to get lost in exploration, find purpose in dreams, and seek solace in the unfamiliar, while your endless journals filled with quotes and sketches taught me not only to treasure the beauty of words but also to read the world as deeply, weaving a thread through disparate sources of inspiration to cultivate a personal web of meaning.”

“To: Miranda Mellis, Dropping out of a fancy liberal arts college left me belly-up. You met my float with a tidal welcome, ushering me into a curated syllabi that has never resisted: Anne Carson, J.M. Coetzee, Thalia Field, Brian Teare, Fanny Howe, and Jacques Ranciere—just to name a few. Thank you for the concepts of elision and ekphrasis, which I may never understand, but are just two of several invitations you’ve given me that will never end.”