Books had a prominent but complicated place on my mother’s side of the family. Books gave you status, proof that you were not ignorant. I always got the impression that part of the reason my grandfather chose to become a preacher like his father was because it was as close as he would get to being able to keep studying after high school. He was at various times a preacher and a travelling encyclopaedia salesman. But growing up my mother remembers being yelled at for reading by her mother, who felt she was being lazy. Books were an escape and that was both something to be desired or feared, depending on who you were.