When we first started the virus lockdown, I was having a tough time focusing on reading, so I turned to my BoBs (Books of Books I began 47 years ago, pictured in my new blog photo) to take a journey into what I’ve read over the years. It was interesting to not only see what books I read but also how my tastes (and handwriting!) have changed over the years. I started reminiscing about how I developed as a reader waaaaay back before my saddle shoes graced the steps of Harrison Elementary School, which then led me to the decision to chronicle my reading from age 3 to the present day. So over the next weeks, months, years (seems at this point I have nothing but time), please forgive my self-indulgence in posting about reading experiences and books that have influenced my reading tastes.
My Very First Book
My mother said as soon as I could grab, the first things I would latch onto were books. Now she may have been humoring me, but it wouldn’t surprise me. I don’t remember having many children’s books in our little trailer-house, but if we did, they were most likely those Little Golden books from Knickerbocker’s.
What I do remember is discovering our 1950 edition of Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook and deciding I was going to use the pages to practice writing my name. Then someone told me (probably a neighbor friend) that continually writing my name showed I was self-centered, so I stopped. Below is the actual book which I still own. I’m unsure who was the recipient of “I Love You” and no idea what “EUESS” meant.
My First Booktalk
One thing I was looking forward to when I started first grade was reading the Dick and Jane series, but Mrs. Browning sent me past “Go,” putting me the “advanced” group where we read a different set, most likely the Ginn readers. I remember looking forward to each day’s reading assignment.
But what I’ve never forgotten is my trips to the Cottage Grove Library and what a treat it was to haul home a huge stack of picture books. I was so impressed by D’Aulaires’ Don’t Count Your Chicks that I took it to Show and Tell and gave my first booktalk, imploring everyone to read this fabulous book. The only problem is I made the grave error of giving away the ending! I never did that again.
And from there, it was a slippery slope to more advanced reading in the form of chapter books and two of the most magical reading experiences of my life, which will be the topics of my next post.