In Others’ Words: Once Upon a Childhood

Childhood books 2016

There are books everywhere in my house. 

When e-readers came on the scene, my husband encouraged me to get one. His hope? That the multiple To Be Read (TBR) piles would disappear into virtual oblivion.

Um, no. That did not happen.

My Kindle is loaded and ready to go on trips with me … and the TBR piles continue to thrive throughout the rooms of my home.

And now … well, now I have two precious GRANDgirls and all the more reason to unpack books that I once read to my children so that I can read them out loud again. And yes, of course there are new books to buy and expand my collection of children’s books.

Reading books was one of the best parts of my childhood. I discovered new places and peoples and days gone by and days yet to be between the covers of books. And through reading, I first began dreaming of becoming a writer.

I wanted that same kind of joy for my children … the discovery of worlds beyond here and now … flights of imagination that invited them to dream and to dare and to hope and to be brave and yes, to laugh.  And now I’m sharing that joy once again with my grandchildren.

Joy discovered and shared and multiplied … all within the pages of books.

 

In Your Words: What books took you to “enchanted places” where your imagination ran free and you discovered the joy of a story?

 

 

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9 Comments

  1. February 25, 2016, 6:54 am   /  Reply

    We had a small (I know now) but good public library right across the street and later a church in that same community hall building. Both were huge gifts to me. Childhood books I still recall fondly are The Boxcar Children, Adopted Jane, Lucretia Anne and the Oregon Trail (we lived at the end of the Oregon Trail) though I quickly devoured children’s juvenile, and then was off and running to all library selections. That was a divine gift and I’m so thankful.

    • February 25, 2016, 9:18 am   /  Reply

      My mom used to drive us to the library a couple of times a month and I always staggered out of there with a tall stack of books. I learned the importance of not losing track of the books I checked out. My school had a small library, too, and I loved checking out books there, too. I didn’t discover the Boxcar Children until I had children of my own. But I did love The Secret Garden and Little Women and, later on, Jane Eyre.

  2. February 25, 2016, 8:07 am   /  Reply

    The first novel I ever read, at the age of seven, was Alistair Maclean’s “HMS Ulysses”, the grimly fatalistic story of a Murmansk convoy in 1943.

    It was the best atmospheric for my childhood, in that I learned that bad things simply happen, and that one has to deal with them in the best way possible in the understanding that no one may ever know, nor care.

    • February 25, 2016, 9:22 am   /  Reply

      Andrew: Was that novel a random selection? Did you continue reading in this vein for years to come?

      • February 25, 2016, 1:38 pm   /  Reply

        I don’t know how I came across it, but I did read in that genre for a long time. it helped harden me, and even I that age, I knew it was necessary.

  3. February 25, 2016, 8:58 am   /  Reply

    I can remember being so insulted because I couldn’t have a library card. I was six but hadn’t started to school. It was so embarrassing to put my books on my mother’s card. While I don’t remember my mother reading to me, she took me to the library when I started reading the funny papers at five. To this day I can just go inside a library and feel so peaceful. Kinda like church.

    • February 25, 2016, 9:25 am   /  Reply

      Pat: Oh, I remember the joy of getting my library card, too. And reading Sunday comics while stretched out on the living room floor — and sometimes indulging in doughnuts. 🙂

  4. February 26, 2016, 12:58 am   /  Reply

    So, you’re saying you have even more piles of books than before? 😉 I’m sure hubby is happier than ever, but we can’t deny our grandkids a few stacks of their own.

  5. Bernadette DesChamps
    February 26, 2016, 10:21 am   /  Reply

    I can’t imagine a world without reading, and, oh, the worlds I’ve imagined because of it! Here are a few from my childhood: Blueberries for Sal, The Cat in the Hat, The Five Chinese Brothers, Caps for Sale, Charlotte’s Web, Runaway Ralph, James and the Giant Peach, Encyclopedia Brown, The Boxcar Children, Black Beauty, Nancy Drew, A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet. For some reason I didn’t discover the Anne of Green Gables and Narnia series until I was in my twenties. So many amazing stories, so many genres to enjoy. I could go on and on.

    My kids were raised with stacks of books from the library and many of their own. The best of those now delight my grands and are included on wish lists by my daughters.

    And while my kindle has certainly multiplied opportunities to read, in most of my best story memories, there’s a book in my hands and, quite often, a child in my lap.

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