Monday, May 25, 2009

When I fell in Love with reading.


I do not pretend to know grammar or language, and my high school English grades were definitely nothing to brag about. Back in high school, I hated to read. I even had to repeat my freshman year English class. Yuck!
Somewhere between wanting to learn more and needing to learn more, I started reading. I would check out books from the library. First, parenting books, then how to books; how to cook, exercise, organize, etc.
During the end of my first marriage, I was trying to find something, that I would like. I walked into a used book store at near NAU and looked at the aisle of old books. At first the colors or the spine were just appealing. The colors were muted, greens, reds and browns. Then the paper seemed thicker and the pages were uneven.The pictures inside were beautiful and delicate. Some were covered with a thin piece of parchment paper, protecting the picture from getting the ink of the words onto the page.
Then I bought one. (I just now, raced to my bookshelves to find it, and I can not. What a shame. I think I let someone borrow this book. It was written in the late 1800's a little political romance about a woman who was trying to petition the right for women to vote. There were beautiful drawings covered with the most delicate of parchment. You almost didn't want to read it, for fear that I would get ruined. I wish I knew where it was. If you have it please tell me.)
The next book I purchased was from an antique store. It was printed in London 1897;
A man with black eyelashes by H. A. Kennedy .
" Editha's heart was tremulously jubilant within her as she set forth upon her little expedition with Stephen. She had been hungering for a long talk with him, and now it had come about by no doing of her own." Chapter VI page 89.
Beautiful........ then I fell in love with reading. I found something else, the love of old books, the old etiquette, and the pomp and circumstance. But most of all, I found something I loved... just for me, no one else, not because anyone else cared, but because I did.
Anyhow this is when I started collecting old books, mainly written in the late 1800's to the early 1900's, but before the 1930's. These books made me want to live back then. Through the next several months I collected approximately 50 books. This love of books filled the hole in my own love life. It was almost the end of a five year marriage, in which I gave up most of myself trying to please a man that was impossible to please.
Over the next several months I read the books that I purchased and then moved to California, away from my most beloved used book store.

I think I should catalog my books and list them. One of them taught the proper way of "wooing", which is a good seg-way into what happened later....
I met a man, a wonderful man and we married and he loves books. He has read many books only they are a different nature then my books; Feodor, Dostoevsky, mythology and science. He appreciates my books and we look for books together. We found and purchased a collection of Rudyard Kipling, 1925 bright red with a gold eastern Indian symbol that slightly resembled a swastika's embossed on the spine. The red dye is so saturated that it leaves a red mark when moved from the shelf. We also found a very old dictionary, which I do not know the date, but comparing some of the definitions from back then to a dictionary now is very different. We also bought an encyclopedia set from the early 1930's, these books are only about 6 inches high, and also red. (this is also my favorite color) One of the great finds was a guide to the Mason's, which is only about 3 inches by 2 inches. Fascinating to read these little glimpses of the past.


In the early stage of my pregnancy with our first child, my third. I saw an episode on Oprah, in which a lady started to read to her child while still in her womb. Every day after he was born, she read to him. The child was able to read very well by the age of 5. One of his favorite books to read was Charlotte's Web. I decided I would like to give my child an early start in the joy of reading. While pregnant I read Jane Austen's classics. Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice (This is when my hubby got the name Mr.Darcy!!), Emma and others. Then I read Charlotte Brontes', Jane Eyre and Emily Brontes', Wurthering Heights. They truly were great women writers. I loved the complexity and would write down the words I didn't know in composition books. I would look up these words in the dictionary and then come back and re-read the passage with a better understanding, Magical.

When my son was born big books became to heavy to hold, while holding him. We bought some small children's books and began a 2 year ritual of reading Good Night Moon every night along with one other random children's book. This coupled with classical music during nap time was certain to make him a scholar! Well, now he is 9 and he does love to read. We just finished Charlotte's Web ..... and Shiloh, Cricket in Time Square, and Tuck Everlasting. And for fun he likes to read Sponge Bob, Captain Underpants and Geronimo Stilton. He will read 2 of these 100 plus pages in a day.

Our next little child came along and days were much more busy. Health problems arose, when in the hospital I would read her poetry. A book of poems my husband and I received from his Grandmother on a visit to her before she passed. I love this book. It still has the little bits of yarn book marks in the pages that she loved most. When I read the poems to our little one I would wonder which poem it was, out of the several listed on the page. I would come to my conclusion and with an attempt to instill the same love to this new little one I would whisper them into her ear. I have come to love the ones about the frogs and fairies. It is time once again to take it off the shelf.

Now, If I were to see my English Lit. teachers, I could say "Yes, I love to read!"
I love to journey into someone elses life and see what it has to offer. .....
Take the words with me, and add them to my heart.
The End

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