I recently found Flashback Friday when I was reading Linda's blog, 2nd Cup of Coffee, where I get the Random Dozen each week. I'm always up for a good meme, and since those sites seem to have fallen by the wayside lately, I was thrilled when I found these two. Initial thanks go to Cindy Swanson at Notes in the Key of Life. (See, there are still some good bloggers out there in spite of Facebook!)
Since my Fridays are so hectic and I don't have much time for blogging, I was thrilled to find the prompt for this week's topic already up. Read on!
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?
Did I like to read?!? How many times did Mama tell me to get my nose out of my book and do something? If I was inside, I had my nose stuck in a book. (I'm still that way - and I carry a book in my humongous purse everywhere I go. You never know when you're going to have some time to kill...)
The first book I remember reading repeatedly was Jack London's Call of the Wild. I would read it every summer when I went to stay with Aunt Pat. I also loved reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie series. My favorite library book was Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. The plot is what pulled me into stories, then and now. I'll read just about any genre and any author, as long as the story is good. If I do find an author I like, I'll usually read several of his or her books or series. The only problem with that is that I sometimes burn out and don't read their work again for a long time - Danielle Steel, John Jakes, John Grisham, and Karen Kingsbury, to name a few.
I had quite a collection of books when I was little. I mostly remember having the hardback versions of the Little House series and a lot of Dr. Seuss books. My favorite of those was I Wish that I Had Duck Feet ("...and I can tell you why. You can splash around in duck feet. You don't have to keep them dry.") When I was older, I collected Sunfire Romance books. They were clean romance novels written for teens. Most of them had a historical fiction element to them. Any time I had some extra money in my pocket, I'd buy another one. I wonder what happened to those... I would also scour garage sale tables for good books. I found many James Michener novels that way. Unfortunately I didn't get around to reading many of them before I had to pack them all up because of a lack of space.
One of the things I most looked forward to in school was the day the book order forms were sent home. I'd spend probably an hour poring over the books available, circling the ones that interested me and figuring how much money I'd need to get the ones I most wanted. When I was a teacher, I always looked forward to getting the book order forms in. I'd look through the books for students and choose a few for my classroom library. Then I'd pore over the offerings for teachers and figure out how many points I had and how many points it would take to order the books I wanted.
I remember Mama taking me to the library frequently when I was little. I remember checking out a big stack of books each time, and I probably read them all the first day I had them. I don't remember going much when Melissa and Lindsay were little. I probably only used the school library then. When I started junior high school, I started visiting the school library more frequently.
By my senior year of high school, I was very familiar with the library. In fact I worked there one hour each day for class credit. I loved straightening the shelves because it gave me plenty of opportunities to find new books to read. I found Robin Cook's Coma and devoured it. Not long after that, I wanted to read every book of his I could get my hands on. I started reading Margaret Walker's Jubilee, but it was the end of my senior year and I ran out of time before I finished it. Some twenty-plus years later, I bought the book at Borders and finally finished it.
While I was in college, I had a student job working in the campus library. I worked in the cataloging department, helping prepare the new books for the stacks. When I had finished that, I would help reshelve books or do some computer work for the acquisitions department. One seemingly boring job of inputting ISBN numbers turned out to be quite interesting after all.
Now I visit one of the local public libraries weekly. I make sure the boys have plenty of books to read, as well as a wide variety of things. I wander the stacks looking for new things for me and usually bring home more books than I have time to read. Oh, and I've found myself straightening shelves on more than one occasion.
I don't remember participating in summer reading programs when I was a child, but my boys participate now. They've earned circus tickets, free meals at restaurants, free books, etc., through them. As an adult I've participated in a few summer reading programs both at our public library and at the church. I've "won" a Starbucks gift card, a deck of playing cards, a book, some coupons, etc. I don't read (solely) for the prizes, but it's a nice perk.
My English teacher my freshman and sophomore years didn't have us read any of the classics. I think she was more interested in looking "cool", so she assigned us contemporary literature. I remember reading War Games and thought it strange that we were reading a book based on a movie instead of watching a movie based on a book. The next two years I had a more traditional English teacher who assigned many classics. I enjoyed most of them: Silas Marner, The Great Gatsby, Wuthering Heights, etc. The one I hated, though, was Gulliver's Travels. I read brief synopses of the chapters to get me by. I can't think of any other book I disliked as much as that one - not even Animal Farm. There are still a lot of classics I never got around to reading that I'd like to. I guess I need to add them to my ever-growing list.
So, what do you like to read?