Monday, January 12, 2015

Ten Things that Make Me Happy #6: Reading

When I was small, my mother read to me:  fairy tales, poems, animal stories, The Wizard of Oz, and a favorite book about a girl who lived in an orphanage and was finally adopted.  It was called "Polly What's-Her-Name, and I loved to play orphanage with my paper dolls. I still have the Polly book and I have the book of children's poems, now its pages yellowed and frayed and its cover missing.

As soon as I could read, I got a library card.  I remember the city library, with its arched doorway and its black and white tiled floors.  The odor of books permeated the airy  rooms, a smell I've always associated with the excitement of searching for just the right book, one that would take me to other worlds and times.  The children's room, with its wide windows looking out at a park had a few tables and small chairs.  I loved it.  During my childhood I devoured Betsy-Tacy books I always wanted to be their new friend Tib, whose real name was Thelma.)  I read--yes, I admit it--the Bobbsey Twins and didn't realize until many years later how badly written they were. I read the "Shoes" books, too.  My favorite was Circus Shoes, not that I wanted to be in the circus but the life there sounded fascinating and fun.  I loved the library at Pease School, too.  It was there I discovered Tom Sawyer and Caddie Woodlawn and Mr. Popper's Penguins.  My mother accused me of always having my nose in a book.

When I moved to Young Adults and the library's tiny room devoted to books for teenagers, I read series about nurses--I didn't want to be a nurse, but those young girls always seemed to have exciting adventures in the hospitals where they worked. Sue Barton married a doctor--how romantic.  I read a series by Janet Lambert about two military families and dreamed about going to a dance at West Point.  That dream came true when my cousin went to West Point and invited me to a dance.

In high school and in college there was, of course, assigned reading, and I loved that, too.  Julius Caesar, Ivanhoe, poetry and essays.  Some of my classmates balked at the reading but I loved it.  I discovered Wordsworth and Shelly and T.S. Elliot  and kept the literature book from my freshman year in college and a book from my sophomore year's interpretive speech class.

Over the years I've kept reading, my tastes eclectic.  I've read books from the classics to Booker and Pulitzer Prize winners to romance, which prompted me to begin writing romance novels of my own for Harlequin and Silhouette.  I've read literary novels, thrillers, and yes, Fifty Shades of Gray--yuck.  I love non-fiction--anthropology and history and lots of sports books.  I guess I'll always have my nose in a book.



Template by: Bright Sunshine Designs by Mary - Affordable Custom Blog Design © 2011