Friday, September 24, 2010

Flashback Friday: Childhood Books

Did you like to read when you were a child? What were your favorite genres, books or series? Did you read books because of the author or because of the title/plot? Did you own many books? Did your school distribute the Scholastic book orders (or some other type)? Did you visit the library often? Was there a summer reading program when you were young, and did you participate? Do you have any particular memories of your school libraries? What were your favorites and least favorites among the classics (the ones high school English teachers assign!)? If you didn't like reading, do you like it more today than you did then?
Oh, yes, I loved loved loved to read as a child! I still remember the first time I understood how to read. Something clicked and I could tell what the words said, and from that moment on, I have been an avid reader. When I was a little girl, my grandma had some Little Golden Books at her house that I loved to have read to me, and I was so thrilled when I could read them myself!

When I was still in public school, grades 1-3, we had the Weekly Reader papers periodically. I was proud  when my parents let me order some books, and I chose two: Department Store Ghost and Socks. I adored Socks! It's about a cat who is adopted by a young couple who thinks he's livin' the good life . . . till a baby comes along. I still love that story.

This wasn't actually reading books myself, but I had one teacher who would read to us during class every day. She read Pippi Longstocking  and Queenie Peavy that year, and I remember lying on the classroom floor listening to her read and imagining every scene. Loved it!

At the Christian school, grades 4-7, I discovered Joy Spartan and The Sugar Creek Gang, although I never really got interested in The Sugar Creek Gang. I was more interested in Nancy Drew, but the real Nancy Drew expert was my best friend, Deborah. She now owns the entire Nancy Drew series! I also began reading some very good, clean Christian romance novels (closer to 7th grade for those!) by Francena Arnold. One of those, Not My Will, has turned out to be my very favorite book of all time. These books didn't focus as much on the romance as they did finding and doing God's will; I'm so glad I read those!

During the summers I would visit the little branch library in our neighborhood. I read tons of books every summer, but I don't remember there being a reading program. I just read because I wanted to. Around this time is when my Grandma gave me her copy of Anne of Green Gables, and my Granny let me read her collection of Grace Livingston Hill books. I really loved the Hill books and still like to read them occasionally. I've also re-read the entire Anne series a couple of times! :)

My mother had two volumes of children's stories that she'd had as a child. She gave them to me and I read such classic children's stories as The Velveteen Rabbit and The Plain Princess, which I especially loved. I still have those books, and I will always keep them. I love them!

I clearly remember the day I learned to be discerning in what I read. I was 14. Someone had left some Harlequin romance novels at our house for some reason, and I picked one up and started reading it. I had never read such things in my life, and praise God, my dad found me reading it. He got angry and then he cried. I have never picked up another Harlequin romance since that day. I did find out recently that Harlequin has an inspirational division now, so I tried one book, and it was good. Not the most stimulating writing (definitely not Francena Arnold caliber), but it was clean and had good values.

High school English: I read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Red Badge of Courage, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and Twelfth Night. I least liked The Red Badge of Courage and absolutely loved The Scarlet Pimpernel. I've read that one a couple of times as an adult.

I've never owned a huge collection of books; most of the books I read are borrowed from the library. I do have a bigger collection now than I had as a child and teen, but it's not as big as I'd like! ;) I've been fascinated with books since my earliest memories, so it's probably a good thing I've never had the money or space for a lot of books!


  1. I hadn't thought about the "Weekly Reader" thing in years!!! Loved it.

  2. I remember not caring for The Red Badge of Courage, either. I can't remember if I read it in high school or college.

    I think Not My Will was one of the first Christian fiction books I read. I loved it.

    I don't remember summer reading programs, either. I don't know if they just didn't have them or did but my mom didn't take us.

  3. I love Francena Arnold's books, though I've had a difficult time finding them in libraries because they are out of print (?) or not popular (?). Several years ago I read a sequel to Not My Will.

    I love reading! :-) Fun post!

  4. I did love reading and my favorites were the Little House series.

  5. I too loved books and all the different places they took me. I espectially enjoyed the Little House series.

  6. You are lucky, Susie! :) You got to read soooooo many books when you were little. And now you can remember the titles!

    I do recognize a lot of these. My kids have read many of them. Like my cover picture, Winnie the Pooh, just a lot of them weren't written yet when I was young.

  7. Diana ~ We only have WR, never Scholastic. I loved looking through all the books offered!

    Barbara ~ I wish there were more books like "Not My Will!"

    Tammy ~ I think it's a combo of out-of-print and not popular. You can find a lot of her books on Amazon, though, and for very good prices.

    Debbie J ~ I had forgotten about the Little House books. I read some of those, but not until the TV show came out.

    Deb ~ I could always run away somewhere in a book! :)

    Jim ~ I only remember my very favorites! LOL

  8. Oh, the Weekly Reader! I remember those little "newsmagazines". I didn't remember that they had book orders in them though.

    I did The Red Badge of Courage for my "critical review" in eleventh grade (a huge project). Don't remember being overly impressed.

  9. Linda ~ I may have remembered the Weekly Reader wrong. Maybe it wasn't for books, but I don't remember getting any paper other than that one!


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