Enciclopedia de la Literatura en México

With a book in their hands : Chicano/a readers and readerships across the centuries

“A wonderful and logical sequel to Life in Search of Readers: Reading (in) Chicanola Literature that gives respectful fullness to the voices of Chicano/a readers who share with us their individual histories of reading. Although the testimonies are those of Chicano/a readers, the histories of personal, and family and community reading experiences will resonate with much wider audiences.
After all, we all come to reading both in a variety of ways and yet in the same way –from a love of
stories, poetry, language.”
Genaro Padilla, author of The Daring Flight of My Pen: Cultural Politics and
Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá’s
Historia de la Nueva Mexico, 1610

Testimonies from With a Book in Their Hands
“Reading saved me from the chaos. I picked a book. Little House on the Prairie, and a dictionary, And every night I read slowly but surely. I wrote down every word I didn’t know and the definition. I wanted to learn and be a good reader. “I have worked all my life and am a single Chicana mother of three. My fifteen-year-old carries a book around with him everywhere he goes. My other two children love it when I read to them. I am a success thanks to reading. Whenever asked, ‘If you could be anywhere right now where would you be and what would you be doing?’ I always say, ‘In a comfortable chair with a good book. I will go back to school one day, but until then I will continue educating myself by reading.”
Shonnon Gutiérrez

“My father left his legacy of love of reading to all his children. I remember accompanying him to the local library to check out books. I would go to the children’s area, and my father would go to one solitary rack of Spanish paperbacks. I now understand that given the nature of the times, we were fortunate that our small town library even had a few books in Spanish. “They say that Mejicanos don’t read. Another myth, another stereotype; for I am witness through my published writings that we not only read, but we write as well. I am witness of my father’s enduring legacy that was his only gift to give. A gift of himself. His gift of modeling the love of reading.”
Minerva Daniel

“It was a cardboard box filled with college textbooks. My father carried the heavy box on his shoulder, along with his lunch box. [He] surmised that the box had fallen from one of the trains that traveled through the town. The only books I remember now from that treasure trove are a book of poetry by Thomas Hardy and a book on algebra. The book of poetry changed my life. Perhaps reading Thomas Hardy wan an unconscious idea that I would be a college student someday. I thank my father for carrying that heavy box and bringing it home.”
María Teresa Márquez

* Esta contraportada corresponde a la edición de 2014. La Enciclopedia de la literatura en México no se hace responsable de los contenidos y puntos de vista vertidos en ella.