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Throwback Thursday #39 – Reading Culture and Books

Welcome back to Throwback Thursday. This week we are going to tackle the kind of reading culture you grew up with. Should be fun.

If you care to join us, it’s easy.

  • Write your own post sharing your memories and leave a pingback to this post in the comments.
  • You can use the photo above in your post to make it easier to find.
  • Tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen.
  • If you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below.

This week’s prompt is: Reading Culture and Books

Think about how your grandparents, parents, siblings and friends felt about reading. Then consider how this impacted your life as you matured.

You can respond to the following questions as they are, or you can use them to spark your own memories and write your own post.

  1. Who were the readers in your family?
  2. Were there some people who did not like to read or could not read?
  3. Did your family subscribe to the newspaper?
  4. If you did get the paper, was your Sunday newspaper considered special? What part did you enjoy?
  5. Did your home have books strewn around? Hardbacks or paperbacks?
  6. Did you frequent the library at school?
  7. How about the local community library? Did you have a library card?
  8. What was the first book you remember reading?
  9. Did you have a collection of books (Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Happy Hollisters, etc?)
  10. Did you read comic books? If so, what titles?
  11. Did you end up a bookworm, a casual reader, or someone who read only when required?
  12. Is there a book from your childhood you would like to read again? If so, what book?
  13. What book or books have been extremely meaningful or influential in your life?
  14. BONUS QUESTION: What book(s) do you frequently gift to others? Why?

My post follows.


Everyone on my mother’s side of the family were avid readers, including my mother. It was about the only source of entertainment they had. I seldom saw my mother without a book in her hand. Both my sisters were also avid readers. I think I resented all the reading for years – I felt like most of my family always had their nose stuck in a book.

My paternal family on the other hand were quite the opposite. My grandmother had classic hardbacks and a number of religious books – always kept neatly in a bookcase upstairs. My father seldom read and my grandfather could not read. He could sign his name and that was it.

Gradually I got over it. I fell in love with my Weekly Reader in school. I loved our school library, but it was small. The closest county library was too far away from us so we relied on the Bookmobile which I loved!

The first book I clearly remember reading was Charlotte’s Web. I refused to put it down until I finished it. I remember so well crying my heart out over that spider! I loved all my Nancy Drew books. My cousin had the entire set of book – I only had a few of them. I really coveted her collection. I loved her adventures and her (what seemed to me) rebellious spirit.

We read comic books, but not religiously, nor did we treat them with much care. We read them, passed them around to friends, then sent off for whatever crazy thing was advertised on the back page. I also loved Mad Magazine!

We did not get the newspaper until I was in high school. I read Sydney Omarr’s astrology column and Ann Landers or Dear Abby and The Daily Chuckle. I also loved doing the Daily Jumble. On Sunday, everyone rushed for their favorite section of the paper. I liked the ‘guts’ of the paper most – The Parade Magazine, the Comics, etc.

My reading has varied through the years. Sometimes I am an avid reader like my mother and sometimes I have detested reading like my father. Now I read for pleasure when the mood strikes me. I love to read for enjoyment. I also love to research things which means a lot of reading. I am not a huge fan of self help books. I love fiction and historical fiction. In high school I was a Ray Bradbury fan but I seldom read science fiction now.

As far as books I have gifted the most:  Listen to the Warm by Rod McKuen, A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, and Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much by Anne Wilson Schaf.