There's no way to actually pin down the root of this passion of mine. My parents don't read. In fact, reading was considered much too much like leisure in our busy ranch life and no one was allowed that luxury when there was so much work to be done. So - I'd stay up until the wee hours or read while riding horse (yes, it's possible) or stop mending fence for 20 minutes to sit against a tree and read. I snuck it in wherever I could.
But the one big problem with a voracious appetite for books and none at hand is that I ended up reading a lot of really sub-par kinds of things when I could have had great literature had I had someone - anyone - to lead me along. So, when I came across this quote about the scriptures as literature and the best kind of literature at that, it struck a chord within me. Because though I devoured less-than-savoury books in my youth, I also got a healthy dose of the scriptures - one thing we certainly had plenty of in my home.
"When we follow the counsel of our leaders to read and study the scriptures, benefits and blessings of many kinds come to us. … Where could there be more profitable use of time than reading from the scriptural library the literature that teaches us to know God and understand our relationship to him?" (Howard W. Hunter, Ensign Nov. 1979).
My mother is a fantastic storyteller and I learned the scriptures - and their accompanying lessons from her, but as a young woman I developed an appetite for them on my own and I remembering reading the Book of Mormon the summer before I left for college like I couldn't get enough of it - yes, late at night and yes, on horseback. But also during a quick lunch break and on the tractor and in the car on the way to town (it's a 30 min. drive) and every spare minute I could find.
The scriptures really are the best kind of literature - the kind that yes, teaches us to know God and understand who we are, and that always offers something new and enriches our life and experience every time we read them. Every time.