It might surprise you to hear that my Pappap was a reading mentor to me. My Pap was brilliant-- a flexible problem- solver-- but he did not have an opportunity for formal schooling after middle school. He worked in the coal mines, and also became skilled as a naturalist and an electrician. He was the busiest retired guy I ever met.
But the thing I will always remember is how much Pap loved a good mystery- he read everything from Ellery Queen to Encyclopedia Brown! He loved reading trivia. He also read the morning and afternoon paper- he did word puzzles, logic puzzles, number puzzles. He loved the comics.
When I was little, the Field Guides Pap often read seemed boring to me. But his love of nature helped him find a study topic that interested him. He wanted to know more about the animals in the woods, so he read about them. He knew about animals, trees, and how to find delicious berries- because he read about them and then he experienced them.
People who knew my Pap might think of tools and machines when they think of him, and I do, too. (I also remember drilling a hole in his workshop floor while he helped me with my Girl Scout Woodworker badge!) I will always remember his humor, his generosity, and especially his reading. Pappap taught me that readers find books about what they want to know about it the world- and then read them! I used to think that being a reader was just reading high-brow canons, but Pap taught me that readers alone choose the reading that is important to them.