R is for READING

I come from a family of readers – some read more than others but we all know to travel with a book in case you get into an accident. My parents, grandparents, great grandparents – all were readers. My parents read to us from the very beginning. I have memories of sitting with my brother (who is 10 months older than I am) with our backs against the wall, listening to my mother read Treasure Island and The Wind in the Willows and The Lost Prince. She read us picture books as well, but what we really loved were the books that had lots and lots of chapters. It was our time together and I tell parents today, if you want to create a warm and intimate time with your kids, read to them because it’s just you and them. Nothing else intrudes for that time. As my brothers and sisters joined the family, the reading continued, never diminishing because there was a younger child included. My parents believed that everyone would get something from the story, even if it was just an appreciation of the language of the book.

I learned to read for myself when I was three – almost four. The first book I read all by myself was Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats. I think I still have that copy – falling apart but still near and dear to my heart! From then on, I never looked back. I loved reading the Raggedy Anne and Andy stories and Uncle Wiggly. I devoured books my mother read as a child – The Live Dolls in Wonderland and anything and everything I could find by E Nesbit and Enid Blyton. One of the best series was the Adventure series (Mystery Island, The Castle of Adventure, The Sea of Adventure, and so on). They are out of print now but my sister surprised me by finding them on ebay and giving them to me for Christmas one year. I have read and re-read them so many times, I can quote most of them. I love Kiki and all Phillip’s animals. I lived the Hardy Boy and Nancy Drew books – and since there were so many of us, we acted out tons of the stories. One of my favorite series was The Happy Hollisters. I remember going on vacation one year and finding them in a tiny library in Indiana. It was the highlight of the trip for me.

Some books that made a huge impression on me in my teens: Anne of Green Gables (I cried so hard at the end of that one and I still have a Snow Queen growing outside my room at home), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (another weeper) …. God did I read any happy books back then?? Yes! I found Ngaio Marsh, and Tolkien, and CS Lewis, not to mention Louisa May Alcott and Annie Fellows Johnston.

Now, I read everything, although I prefer fiction, especially mysteries and fantasy. I once had a principal ask me why I was reading Harry Potter, as it was a young adult book. Oh, I don’t know …. Cause it’s a good book?!! Sorry, I don’t believe in age limits on books. And I don’t believe in reading books only once. There are some authors – Dick Francis, Agatha Christie, Nevil Shute to name a few – that are read and re-read and read again whenever the mood strikes or whenever I don’t have anything started.

My sister and I recently found a couple of websites that include reading challenges — and there we’ve found lists and lists of books that we haven’t read yet — horizons yet to be discovered – I can’t wait. I’m dusting off my library card and getting ready for a gorge!

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2 Responses to “R is for READING”

  1. Hey Teach! Says:

    How do you remember the first book you read???? I can’t remember what I read last week, much less my first book!

  2. amanda Says:

    hhg is ahead of you…..

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