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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.

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One Liner Wednesday and #JusJoJan – On Writing

When I do not believe in the characters someone writes about, I will not go along for the ride. When I know immediately where the writer is going, I will move on rather than visiting somewhere I’ve already been. It’s time time to start a new book.

“You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.”
Stephen King

The first book, the one that swept me away, the one that inspired me to write was Charlotte’s Web. Do you remember yours?


One Liner Wednesday is brought to us each week by Linda Hill. Pop over, check out the rules, and join in!

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The Practice of Reading

My reading habits have been abysmal since the pandemic began. In early December I picked up a book to read. It kept me company amidst the shopping, decorating and wrapping. Once it was all complete, I started reading again.

I read five books in December, four of those since the 20th of the month. It feels good to be reading again. All the books came from the library, delivered to my iPad to be read on the Kindle app. Today I started a sixth book. If I kept on the pace of five books a month in 2022, I will have read 60 books.

I should not say that out loud – it sounds too much like a resolution or goal easily crumbled. I will just say it is nice to consider the possibility.

I have high hopes for the book I started today – the one that will accompany me from 2021 to 2022. The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig is my choice. I have not read any reviews, but the synopsis makes me think it will be a good transitional, possibly feel good book to see me into the new year.

What book are you reading while jumping from one year to the next?

 

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Five Things for Friday – What’s on My Mind?

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Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

1. I have an odd relationship with reading. My parents and their families were diametrically opposed where reading was concerned. I have drifted in and out of periods of reading in my life. Right now, I’m in. My mom’s family (and my mom) were ALWAYS in.

2. Speaking of reading, I just started reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, a 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner. (Thanks to Tony and Margie from Back Roads and Other Stories for reminding me of this book.) It made me wonder how many Pulitzer Prize winning novels or other fiction pieces I have read. Not as many as I thought! Here’s a link if you care to see how many you have read. I will be very impressed if anyone has read them all! Pulitzer Prize Winners

3. When I was perusing newspaper articles last week, I discovered a recurring column which listed all the small rural communities and their use of the Bookmobile (did you check out books from the bookmobile?) Our little mountain community always had one of the highest numbers for books checked out and one of the lowest numbers for overdue books. The father of one of my oldest and dearest online friends drove a Bookmobile. She once sent me articles about him. That was sweet. I never knew a Bookmobile driver.

4. Iva Lou Wade is a character in Andriana Trigiani’s book Big Stone Gap. Iva Lou is the Bookmobile librarian/driver. What a great character! I love Trigiani’s character development. I am also very familiar with this very real community of Big Stone Gap as it is not far from where I grew up.

5. Speaking of Adrianna Trigiani, she was a very successful producer on both ‘The Cosby Show’ and ‘Different World’.  So talented.

That’s it for the five things running through my mind on this late Friday morning.

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What Are You Reading?

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I have been reading BeetleyPete’s Blogger’s Books feature. He is kindly featuring the books written by fellow bloggers. What a kind gesture and a great source for new books us to consider. He is posting features daily.

Having just finished the book We Were Liars, I am looking for the next book I want to read. I have one book on hold at the library – The Nightingale – but the wait is several weeks out.

I often ask my friends on Facebook what they are reading every month or so. So many books never make the best seller lists. In the current environment, it is easy to overlook a great book. I also check out what my friends are reading on their Goodreads page.

Going to the bookstores and looking through books was one of our pre-Covid favorite pastimes. It was not unusual for us to hit the book stores several times a month. I have an affinity for old books, too, so finding a good used book store was always a pleasure. We are fortunate to have an exquisite bookstore in our town. The owner is so knowledgeable and generous with his expertise about books it is a pleasure to go there.

So, without further ado, I shall ask the question.

What are you reading right now. Please share!