What can YOU say in six sentences?
Beautiful bookstores in Gita’s topic got me thinking about books, of all things. Possibly one of the best things my dad ever did for me and my brother was signing us up for Weekly Reader. Never knew what was going to be inside that flat cardboard box sitting on the kitchen table. I recall many of the stories, but lately I’ve been thinking about the colors of the covers themselves--vivid blues or magenta or slime green.
Who wouldn’t want to pick up a book that looked like this:
Then there were the book sales in the library crawl space in middle school. Neat stacks of undog-eared, perfectly flat, crisp books begging to be brought home, like this one:
Some of the books were assigned reading, of course, and who in their right minds actually read that stuff and wrote their reports, anyway? Only dorks really read and tried to grasp “Thus I Refute Beelzy” or “Hiroshima.”
What books from your childhood set you on a lifelong path to being a reader? Are the stories and colors still vibrant with you today?
Great discussion topic. I loved Alice in Wonderland, and still do, and reread it every year or two. Our elementary school library was good (I thought, but what did I know, really?) and our librarian and teachers were adept at helping me find engaging things to read. For some reason, I still remember a book called Queenie Peavy that I loved. Strangely, I have no memory of my middle or high school libraries. Surely there is a reason for this, other than my age. :)
oh boy. head hangs down. never actually read alice in wonderland. thank you for that, and i believe this is what the forum is about: conversation and inspiration!
There were many, but the first that came to mind on reading this as far as colours are concerned were the vivid pink spines of the Mazo de la Roche series - a dozen or more? - seen lined up in the school library. By then, aged eleven, I was already avid ... In my primary school a series were dark blue with silver-written titles and so many times I pulled off the shelf 'Gulliver's Travels' or 'Five children and It' and hated, hated, hated them every time with disappointment. I wish I could remember what really set me off reading but because a) I was reading before I started school and b) my father was a librarian so I borrowed more books than I owned, my memory might be distorted a bit.
it's tough being a kid and loving reading a story and everyone around you hated it or disparaged it and you have to keep your love of reading secret! jeez!
I remember two books from around the time I was three: The Little Engine That Could and one about a character called Rootie Kazootie. A little later I blitzed through an anthology of fairy tales--everyone from the Brothers Grimm to Oscar Wilde--that was edited by Olive Beaupre Miller. I also remember The Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum; that book took me to Oz. I also got into the World Book Encyclopedia of all things, which had great stuff on animals and historical figures, along with maps of all the countries in the world.
The book cover I remember most was a late '60s Vintage paperback edition of Hammett's Red Harvest--a circle of bullets stood on end with one knocked over and a background that was blood red, like the story.
I loved my encyclopedias too!!
oh, we know the little engine that could! it led us to many other things.
I remember two books vividly: Escape from Warsaw and The Rise & Fall of Adolf Hitler. I also vaguely remember a book about a guinea pig but can't remember much else except being conscious of how much enjoyment I derived from reading it, and where I was sitting in Ms. Helm's sixth grade classroom at Deer Creek Elementary, Crowley, Texas (Mrs. Hopkins and Mr. Yates had adjoining classrooms, and there was a special needs classroom -- all of us separated by a sliding wall of some vinyl type material). Ahhh... the joy of reading. Great discussion.
ohmigosh... was totally not expecting this on this page, this discussion... wow! i was kind of thinking smallish, you know, middleschoolish... but HEY! we are exposed to different things at different times. i had no idea about the dresden bombing until becoming a fan of iron maiden, and it's a blessing that opened my eyes. READ, read everything, and discuss! it's true stimulus and helps us never forget our humanity.
Oh yeah, how could I have forgotten Freddy? In fourth grade I spent the entire year sitting in back of the class reading Freddy the Pig books by Walter R. Brooks. Freddy was a talking pig who lived on a farm in upstate New York. His best buddy was Jinx the Cat and their enemy was Simon the Rat. There was a sheriff in the nearby town who had to keep kicking miscreants out of his jail because they got treated better there than anywhere else on the planet. Freddy was everything from a detective to an aviator, and I even think he went to the moon once on some mission or other. Greatest series of kids' books ever written as far as I'm concerned. I wouldn't have gotten through fourth grade without them. Anyone who has kids who like to read, get them the Freddy books by Walter R. Brooks. They will love you forever, guaranteed.
My reading life began with A.A. Milne, and I still have one of the Pooh books with my scrawly attempts to print my name and those of the characters. The colors that remain are the orange spines of Puffin books. "Ballet Shoes" by Noel Streatfield was absolutely my take-everywhere, read-over favorite. Stuart Little made me weep (E.B.White) and the marvelous Brit children's series "Worzel Gummidge" made me laugh like a banshee at times. Like Crisman, I devoured every single fairy tale in two libraries plus whole collections of Bavarian and Russian and British magical stories.
Around age 10, or so, I plundered the Nancy Drew mysteries. Are there any other Nancy fans around here, and did you find her feisty independence liberating?
my parents handed me many nancy drew stories, and the "whispering statue" is the one that stuck with me over all. as far as a.a. milne goes, i like the pooh stories, but love them more in the way benjamin hoff interpreted the characters and the series in "The Tao Of Pooh" don't want to go into it too much, but if you want to enjoy, quietly, it's a great book.