On my first visit to my granddaughter, I brought baby-proof cardboard books of nursery rhymes. They were Jordan's first books of her own, and I teased my son and daughter-in-law that they had waited too long. (She was all of two months old.)
Now she is 22 months. When she climbed into her toddler-sized rocker, I asked her, "Do you the know the story of the three little bears?"
Lickety split, she ran down the hall and came back with The Spooky Old Tree. As soon as I opened it to the first page, I understood why: three little bears going into the spooky old tree. She knew the story.
Later, she brought me a Dr. Seuss book, My Eye. I pointed to the word "eye" and said it.
She pointed to the picture of an eye and said "eye." She pointed to the word eye and said it. She pointed to her own eye and said it a third time.
You'll forgive a grandma bragging, won't it? One of those aha moments, when she made the connection between the word on the page, the two-dimensional picture, and the actual physical object.
My son reads, all the time. Serious books of religion and philosophy.
My oldest granddaughter (14) doesn't read much beyond books required by school--but she will carry the impact of books like The Giver and The Hunger Games for a long time.
My middle granddaughter (11) has read all the Harry Potter books and the Twilight series.
Jordan is joining a family of readers.
Without readers, we authors serve no purpose. Most of us are also avid readers.
Read to your children. Read to your grandchildren. Read yourself. They figure out for themselves that books are important!
What the earliest book that you remember? For me, probably The Cat in the Hat and The Cat in the Hat Comes Back.