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Of course, sometimes I can't remember what I had for dinner last night!
She (& my dad) gave me many books when I was growing up.
and now she comments (complains) that I have too many books!
but she started the addiction!!!
They eventually hid the book, and admitted to it when I found it a long, long time later and said, "Oh, hey, remember when you used to read this to me?" to which they replied, "Yeah, that's why we hid it."
But my dad was different and he used to read to me, particularly Disney comics, and he would do all the voices. He read with me until I was practically a teenager. He understood that it wasn't about whether I was capable of reading the words, it was about the storytelling.
My sons are 28 years old and 22 years old and to this day I can recite "Spooky Old Tree" and "Mr. Brown can Moo can You?" by heart. I read to my sons starting the day I brought them home from the hospital till they reached 6th grade when they felt they were to old for it. I admit I was crushed. We didn't have books growing up but there was a bookmobile that came by and my mom would read us whatever we got. And when she couldn't my sister and I would take turns reading out load to our brother.
My favorite book growing up is OOP & impossible to find, even through ebay & used bookstores. It was not a best seller or even popular, but I loved it.
So, a couple of years ago, I interloaned a copy from a state university children's library collection, then scanned the two dozen pages & cover. Then I returned the book.
I haven't "prettied" them up (they still exist in 25 separate scans) and I won't share the scans, but I can read the book and remember.... and smile.
As a result of her diligence, I grew up into the career I have now, and also spend a fair amount of effort re-creating the childhood library I remember having, and the books I remember being favorites. Some were well known books like Where the Wild Things Are, some were beloved because of their illustrations--which became inextricably linked with the text in my mind so that to this day they remain the "official" versions of the story. A Child's Garden of Verses illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa, Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates, illustrated by Dennis Deirks. Some were stories that only seemed to be family favorities, not shared by any other children in the neighborhood: All of Tove Jansson's Moomin books -- Moominsummer Madness was the first we discovered. My Father's Dragon, a strange little story called The Cow That Fell in the Canal, and some that seemed to be family heirlooms--books passed down to us that had belonged to my mother or my grandfather: a strange little story called Keo the Otter, an antique copy of Tasha Tudor's Snow Before Christmas, a strange and vivid story called Paddle to the Sea about a little carved Indian in a canoe that travels through all the Great Lakes and ends up across the ocean in France. These, and the many collections of fairy tales we seemed to have from all kinds of cultures (mom loved stories set in other places, and therefore I did too) set the tenor of my childhood so that reading was always a journey into the wonderful.
I'm not a book collector in the traditional sense, in that I don't collect rare books. But I do go out of my way to find copies of the books I had as a kid, and to this day I find myself reading and re-reading them to recapture all that sense of wonder.
Then you have to wait another year or more till that grabbing everything phase is over.
Does anyone besides me remember the Chip Hilton series? I devoured them as a young teenager. I also had a large red book that was a compendium of stories and it introduced me to Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin, and Gulliver as well as limericks and other types of poems. I kept it and my children loved it too, but I'm so sad that I could never interest my grandchildren in it.
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