Sunday, May 11, 2008

Weekly Geeks 3

This week’s theme comes from Samantha, who suggested that one week we all write about our fond memories of childhood books.

This one turned into a wee trip down memory lane for me:

I’ve been musing on this question for most of the day. Books from my childhood and adolescence swirled and eddied in my head; the first Golden Books that my older sister used to read to me at night; Enid Blyton Famous Five books, and Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (which, to my everlasting regret I loaned someone and never got it back) and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator _ and others.

Reading A Study in Scarlet for the first time at about 12 or so; painstakingly, over a series of weeks. Reading The Hobbit for the first time; then going on to devour The Lord of the Rings at 14.
Picking up the first book of The Belgariad in the little bookshop that’s no longer there, and the first Dragonlance book – and discovering so many more worlds! Passing these _ and others _ around my friends at school, until the books were falling apart and are – even now – held together with little more than sellotape (hey, I was 14 or 15!) and memories.

When I was sick, the two books I always read were The Hobbit and The Wind in the Willows. I loved the illustrations in the copy of that book that I still have.

Going to the library – the poky old library, with the children’s section upstairs, and looking for my mother through the windows on the stairs on the way down, so I’d know where to go. Getting books out over and over again _ The Dark is Rising Sequence, and A Little Princess, in particular.
So many books, with so many associations.

But two of my most favourite childhood reading experiences are these:

I can’t remember how old I was; about 9, I think, and I was staying at my Nana’s because my parents were on holiday. They sent me a book _ a Famous Five novel, I think, and my Dad had written in the front that they thought I might enjoy it. I have no idea where that book is now.

But the one truly precious childhood memory this has raised for me is this:
Many, many, many years ago, my Dad (who passed on in 2006) used to make supper for my mother and I think me – just a cup of tea and a couple of biscuits, I think. And I used to sit on the kitchen stool and read out loud to him while he pottered about the kitchen.
I think one of the books we read was that Famous Five one (Five Run Away? – it had a green cover) and we also read a very abridged version of Helen Keller’s teacher.
And that is my most precious childhood reading memory.
Thanks for reminding me. :)


Dewey said...

Hmm, I don't know these Famous Five books. No idea how I missed them! According to wikipedia, they've inspired everything from a TV series and computer game to comic books and punk rock versions of the TV show theme song!

tanabata said...

I've been thinking about the books I read and loved as a kid too today. Fun to take a walk down memory lane. Having our grade 4 teacher read us Charlie and the Chocolate Factory during story time is one of my best childhood reading memories. :)

Jackie (Literary Escapism) said...

If you're looking for books that your son can eat, there are these GREAT teether books by Bright Starts -

They are made of fabric and have some hard edges, plus they even beep. The two I have involving counting (in Spanish, English, and French) and another one that is a action game. Ian loves to snack on them.

If you're looking for other books to read to him that'll keep his attention, my son has three favorite ones - Goodnight Moon by M. Brown, the "That's Not My" series of books, and Goodnight Baby by Ibaby.

Maree said...

I love this week's theme.
And thanks for the suggestions Jackie _ I'll look into those! :)

KyleeJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KyleeJ said...

The Belgariad was the book that got me totally hooked. I read for pleasure only a little before I read Eddings. I haven't stopped since. =)

Maree said...

This has been a real trip down memory lane. And reading the posts of others has really jogged my memory about books I haven't thought about in years!