Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Romance with Books

 "Books in a home with growing children is one of the most important things you can put in a house." ~ Thomas D. Clark (Kentucky historian and friend)

I was a guest blogger over on The Romance Dish this week with a post about "The Romance of Writing." Lots of good comments came in about what readers liked in the books they read. Then this afternoon while I was walking, I thought about what a romance I've had with words and books almost all my life. These two books, Black Beauty and Little Women were probably two of the very first "big" books I owned. They were Christmas gifts and treasured ones at that. I got a lot of my books from the library on loan, but these I could put my name on the inside cover. And I did. These words made a horse and a family of sisters come to life in my head. I was officially in love with books. 


Before I go on chattering, what do you notice about these books? Besides the worn spines. I'll tell you what I notice at the end of this post. And since I've been all over giving books away on other blogs, I think it's time I gave away a couple of books here on One Writer's Journal. If you leave a comment before the post next Wednesday, you'll be entered in the drawing. Two winners chosen by random will get an autographed copy of The Gifted. And let's make it fun. Tell me the first book you remember reading and if you can't remember that one, tell me a favorite book or the last book you've read. 

Back to chattering.  Once I discovered reading, I was never far from a book. Books were my friends, my entertainment, my teachers. The words soaked deep into my mind and filled me with the desire to spill my own words out on paper. The beauty of words transported this little farm girl into thousands of different settings to live thousands of different lives. I've fallen in love with countless handsome heroes. I've mourned too many sad deaths to number - even the death of a spider in Charlotte's Web. Who could have ever imagined crying over a dead spider? But oh, the magic of words that can lead us down a fictional path into a make believe world that swallows us up.

So come on and share the first book you remember reading. Any comment will get you into the drawing next Wednesday, but we might as well have fun remembering favorite books. That will be a little bonus fun for those of you like me who rarely win these kind of drawings. 

Thanks again for reading. Oh, and did you figure out what I was noticing on those books in the picture? No author's names on the front covers. The author's names might have been on the spines that fell off the books long ago. Of course, these books were packaged especially for young readers like I was then. Maybe that's why the companies didn't think the author's name mattered. Maybe the author's name still doesn't matter. The story - that's what matters.

48 comments:

  1. I remember reading the two books pictured, Black Beauty and Little Women. Other favorites were My Friend Flicka, Thunderhead, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew. And, you're right, I have no idea who authored any of those books right now.

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    1. I read Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew too, Emily. Missed out on the others although I remember My Friend Flicka on t.v., don't I?

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  2. Hi Ann! What happy memories you've stirred up in me. The very first book I remember reading was "The Cat in the Hat," by Dr. Seuss. I read it to my mom.

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    1. Betty, that might be one that a lot of young readers read first aloud. I used to tutor adult readers and I let one of my students read that book to me. Probably the first book he'd ever read. He was in his early twenties. Books can stir up that happy memories, can't they?

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  3. I had a book

    365 Bedtime Stories

    Wish that I had kept it, I now have grandkids that I would like to read it to. I also have had a lifetime love of reading...and reading Shaker material would be new for me.

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    1. Loretta, that would have been a great book to share with your grandkids. Maybe you could find a copy on the used book sites on the internet.

      Hope if you read any of my stories, that they will entertain and inspire.

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  4. The first big book I ever read for pleasure was in the 8th grade of school. My English teacher gave it to me and told me to take it home and read it, the book was Gone With the Wind. I fell in love with the characters in this book and perhaps compare every heroine and hero to Scarlet and Rhett. I am now fascinated by anything written about the Civil War time period and the south. I will always be grateful to that teacher for introducing me to the book and the love I developed for reading.

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    1. Charlotte, so good to have a teacher to introduce to reading by letting you borrow a book that was full of adventure, history and romance. I read Gone With the Wind in one marathon reading weekend when I was about the same age as you were. Still remember how fun that was. One of my Shaker books has a Civil War setting, The Seeker. Maybe you can give it a try if you haven't read it.

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  5. i remember reading Dick and Jane when i was young.

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    1. I read Dick and Jane when I was in 1st grade too, Pat. Can't remember enjoying those stories much. Run, Spot, run! But I did learn to read and that opened up the world of books.

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  6. Hello, again Ann! My first book was Madeline. Loved the story and the artwork. I read also, a large portion of the Nancy Drew series and my daughter still has all my books from that series. Hopefully, she will pass them down. Thank you for another opportunity to win, "The Gifted."

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    1. Hi, Carmee. Thanks for chiming in with your first book. I used to read the Madeline books to my kids. Fun stories. Good luck in the drawing.

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  7. Anne of Green Gables was my favourite, and I still love it.

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    1. Now, there's another great story, Janet. Loved that one too.

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  8. The first that stays with me was The Gingham Dog and The Calico Cat back when I was in 1st grade - I always loved that one! Of corse, all of the great Golden Books from back in the day - I have ALWAYS loved to read!

    Felicia
    mrschopchop@verizon.net

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    1. Felicia, I've got a lot of the Golden Books that I read to my grandkids now. The Pokey Little Puppy is a favorite of mine. Reading is such fun whether we're reading to ourselves or our kids and grandkids.

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  9. I remember as a young girl walking to the neighborhood library and taking out books with pictures. But the first 'real' book that I remember reading... with a flash light, under the sheets on my bed...and late at night.... is Gone With The Wind. I was up all night finishing the book and then went to school the next day. It remains one of my favorites to this day.

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    1. Hi, Betty. That book could keep a person reading all night. Loved that story too. Guess you were probably sleepy the next day at school, but what a fun memory.

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  10. Can't remember the first book I ever read. And now there have been so many I can't name one favorite book. I know I loved the Nancy Drew books when I was younger and my brother had The Hardy Boys, so I read those also. One of my all time favorites would have to be Jane Eyre, which I have read several times. Also loved Little Women, Les Miserables, War and Peace, and The Count of Monte Cristo. Now I read mostly Christian fiction and also a lot of nonfiction historical books or biographies of people like George Washington, etc. Read to my children from the time they were just teeny and they all love to read also. Love all your books, Ann and look forward to reading any more you have planned in the future.

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    1. Noreen, I don't know that I can remember the first book I read either, just some of the ones that I did read. My aunt had an old storybook of morality tales and one of them was about a kid who wouldn't eat his supper. Don't remember much else about it. In high school I branched out to those classic reads and enjoyed so many of them like Rebecca and Wuthering Heights. So many great books out there to read. Biographies are good too because of the way they're packed with history with a personal touch. I really enjoy first person accounts of historical events. I so appreciate you reading my books, Noreen. Thank you so much.

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  11. Though my parents encouraged their children that education was important,living on a farm,and always having to pitch in,hardly ever left time for anything else.I never owned a book when I was growing up,but in elementary school,the principal would allow a classroom to go to the school's library (a bookcase filled with children's books) and check out a book once a week to read. However,we couldn't take it home,so we had to read it at school during free time,ha.I remember the first time I read a book from there,and it was a biography of Abraham Lincoln-yes..not a girl reading a girl's book. Every time I would go to the school's small library,I would look for a biography-usually they would be American history heroes and heroines.
    Ann,I really enjoy reading your journal,always so interesting.
    And,I don't really want to enter the contest,I have one already,so if I win,please give it someone else.I just wanted to chatter,lol.

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    1. Sounds as if you liked learning about history through people's stories as a young age, Janie. Thanks for chiming in. I always enjoy your comments and you can stay in the contest if there's another of my books, you might like to win. I'm adaptable on the prizes. Either way, I'm glad you let us know about your early reading history. I didn't have many books of my own either, but loved going to the library.

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  12. Hi Ann, Wanted to let you know the memory of my first book...boy is that a challenge for my mind to go back that far! It was a Golden Book titled Little Black Sambo. I read and re-read that book as I couldn't figure out how those tigers turned to butter! I also loved The Pokey Puppy and another Golden Book about a marching band. I later played clarinet and marched in a school band so the seed must have been planted. At a young age I'm not sure the name of the author mattered but today I look for specific authors (like you especially!) 'cause I know I've enjoyed reading that author's books before. Love contests, your blog & your books. Have a blessed week...Linda McFarland

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    1. I remember thinking that about the tigers in that story too, Linda. That one boggled my imagination. Fun that you were interested in a marching band book when little and ended up playing the clarinet later on.

      So glad you look for those specific authors these days. Especially when it's one of my books. LOL. Appreciate your encouraging words.

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  13. I don't remember reading as a kid. Didn't reading start reading until after high school and that's when I took over my parents home with the books I started bringing home. So the only book I can remember reading that may or may not be my first is Rosanna of the Amish that my mother gave me back in the 70s. I still have that book. I enjoy reading about the Shakers, too.
    Karen
    kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

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    1. Sounds as if. compared to some of the rest of us, you got a late start in your romance with book, MsRubyKat, but then made up for it quickly enough. Glad my Shaker books are some you've chosen to read. :)

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  14. The first books (or were they just stories?) I remember were Dick & Jane, but I soon graduated to The Bobbsey Twins, Trixie Belden, and of course Nancy Drew. Like you Ann, I couldn't get enough of reading and my favorite gifts at Christmas were books. Reading has given me joy beyond measure and the power of the written word is priceless to me.
    Connie

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    1. Thanks for sharing your first book memories, Connie. I tried reading the Bobbsey Twins, but hated those stories. But Nancy Drew was good. And books are my favorite gifts too. Now I need the gift of extra time for reading to go along with those books. My to be read stack keeps growing.

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  15. I first remember reading Dick & Jane stories but soon graduated to The Bobbsey Twins, Trixie Belden and of course, Nancy Drew. Like you Ann, I have always loved to read. Reading has given me joy beyond measure and the power of the written word is priceless. And now, I get to enjoy the wonderful stories that you share with your readers, Ann.

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    1. Thanks so much for reading my stories, Connie.

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  16. I love to read. My parents do too so our house was always filled with books (still is--theirs and mine!). I have to guess at what would be the first book I read by myself. It may not be totally accurate but I do know this is a book I loved (and read later to my children): "Put Me in the Zoo." I don't remember the author but it was an easy reader type. I try to always make time for reading in my day; it doesn't feel right if I haven't. I'm glad that both my children enjoy reading as well.

    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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    1. Pam, great to hear about your love of reading. Good to have a house filled with books. Your book "Put Me in the Zoo" reminds me of how much my youngest loved me to read the Dr. Zeus book "If I Ran the Zoo." He loved that book.

      Reading can make a day go better, and I was always glad to see my kids looking at and reading books too.

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  17. Pat & Connie jogged my memories of Dick & Jane in Kindergarten! I loved those books. From there I remember reading the Nancy Drew mysteries, the Bobbsey Twins, Trixie Belden, etc. My mother read to me at a very early age, so I developed a tremendous love of reading. I started reading to my 4 daughters, grandson and granddaughter as infants, and my daughters and grandson were reading by the age of 4. My granddaughter is only 16 months old but already she loves books and has a library larger than mine! What a wonderful world books are, a relief from the stresses of life, a time of peace and pleasure, and many other benefits.
    Nancee
    quiltcat26[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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    1. Nancee, I'm surprised so many of you remember Dick & Jane with such fondness. Maybe I missed something in those stories. :) They were cute pictures. I'm with you that reading to children is one of the best gifts a parent of grandparent can give to their little ones.

      You are so right. Books are a wonderful world of fun and pleasure.

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    2. Ann, those of us who remember Dick & Jane so well are obviously not the youngest people commenting on your blog! LOL! I think too that the pictures were so memorable. I actually have some Dick & Jane fabric that I will probably use for a baby quilt some day. Thanks for offering these wonderful giveaways!

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    3. Dick and Jane fabric. What fun! I've got some Charlie Brown and the gang sheets that I pull out when the grandkids are here.

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  18. I remember Run, Spot, Run; Dick and Jane; Black Beauty (which I still had until last year, it was moldy so it's gone in the trash). Would love the opportunity to win your new book The Gifted. Thank you.
    msbookwormlady(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Good luck in the drawing, Kay. And Black Beauty is a favorite book of a lot of young readers. But I remember doing some boo-hooing when I read it. Of course, I can get teary-eyed pretty easily when I'm deep in a story.

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  19. Hi Ann, Just wanted to post a comment and put my name in the hat to win "The Gifted". I have learned so much about the Shakers in your books (things I didn't realize/know) and thank you for your diligent research. That's what I think is so important about books whether reading as a child or an adult. It's an opportunity to increase your knowledge. I have 3 little great-nephews who love books especially about cars & trains....funny the difference between what little girls like and little boys! As a little girl you couldn't beat a good fairy tale! Have a blessed week! Linda M.

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    1. Hi, Linda. Your name's in the hat. When I used to write books for young adults, I heard over and over that girls would read about anybody, but that little boys would only read chapter books with boy main characters. And I think that's true. That's why several of my YA books had those boy main characters. Plus I like writing from a boy's perspective sometimes.

      Thank you for reading my books. I'm like you. I enjoy reading books that help me learn about something new. That's fun when I'm writing too.

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  20. Ann, I thought I had entered this one, but do not see a comment by me, so here I am again trying to win your book. I don't think it is the first one, but can still read it. The one i'm reading now is, "Deliver Me From Evil" by Kathi Macias. It really touches the heart, and breaks it too, because this stuff really happens. In fact I think of these sex slaves every time the news has a missing girl. She is really a good writer . Can't remember the first book I read, for has been too many years. But i Imagine whatever they had in the first grade in 1941. I love reading about you where-ever you are. Hope your mom is doing good this week. You are always in my prayers. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

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    1. Thanks for this comment, Maxie. I don't think I deleted your earlier comment by mistake, but sometimes when I'm doing things on my iphone, my finger hits the wrong spot. I've always had big fingers. The better to type with. LOL.

      Mom is about the same. Home now, but still agitated at times. It's difficult to be so confused. I think that sometimes she thinks we're keeping her prisoner. It's no wonder that makes her angry. She just wants to go home and see her mother, and we, the gatekeepers, aren't letting her.

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  21. The first book I remember reading and really understanding was probably Little Women. I have an earlier memory that involves books though and that is when I was 3 1/2 and my parents left me with my aunt and uncle when they went to the hospital for my sister's birth. I remember asking my aunt that morning for her to read me a book and she was doing dishes and she said she would in a moment. As I waited in a little rocking chair, my dad came to pick me up and I remember crying over that lost book. lol I always have a book with me now.

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    1. Little Women is a good one to remember, kym. I loved your story about when you were little and missed out on that book. I can totally sympathize. But at least you had a little sister that you no doubt some day read stories too when you were both older.

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  22. The first book I remember reading was The Dollhouse Murders. I don't remember who the author was.

    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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    1. I missed out on that one, Amy, but it sounds like a great book to start out reading. So many great books out there for us to read.

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  23. I have had a romance with books since I was young. I have more books than I will read in my lifetime but I can't seem to stop. Some of my favorites from when I was young, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott, Anne of Green Gables, Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, Sweet Valley High and Janette Oke. I have many favorite authors at this point in my life and my list keeps growing. Thank you for the chance to win

    griperang at embarqmail dot com

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    1. A growing list of books is a joy, Angela. And you listed some of my favorites too. My son loved Encyclopedia Brown. My granddaughter just read through the Little House series. Reading is such fun!!

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Thanks for joining the conversation. I like hearing what you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.