Monday, August 27, 2007

Do you remember those days?

Now that kids are back in school here, I was thinking about how great it was to read just what I wanted to read when I was a kid. I would send away for books and eagerly await their arrival. Some of these were ones that I wasn't allowed to check out of the library or weren't available there. I remember my fascination with reading all of Robert Ruark's novels on Africa. I remember reading Gone with the Wind and wondering what the hell was wrong with Scarlett. I remember reading all of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, and wondering about the meandering sentences of Faulkner's great novels. Just the titles would make me dream: Light in August, As I Lay Dying, Intruder in the Dust, the Sound and the Fury. It was only later after I read the biographies that I learned that these literary greats were alcoholic and had a lot of other issues going on. But at that time, I didn't realize that their writing was linked with their pain.

Reading has always been one of the best ways that I know to relax and stay serene. It is like a journey for me. It was also an outlet for a small town dreamer. After all the years, I still find great comfort in books. There are stacks on the night table. I have the daily Al-Anon readers, the Big Book, the AA Twelve and Twelve, a couple of books on islands in the Chesapeake Bay, and a book on oceanographic discoveries. That's this week's pile.

But in the days when school was out and I could read as much as I wanted, I would collect books for my own library. My tastes were eclectic then as they are now. I had natural history books, art books, and novels. I would open each carefully, smell the pages, drape my long legs across the porch glider, and read until dark would come. It was magic for me. And it pretty much still is.


  1. I too have been a reader all my life, as are my children. When my son was very young, he would take a cereal box into the bathroom with him and read the entire box..ingredients and all. I was fine with that...reading usually leads to more reading.

  2. i get real panicky if i don't have a book around to read. have always loved it and still do!

  3. my two fave childhood books are the Secret Garden and The Diary of Anne Frank.Oh ..reading is paradise.And I sure need to slow down more often and read more.
    Great post Syd..hope you find a new book to read on a beach sometime soon:)

  4. I just got back from Portland, Or. where they have Powell's Book Store, which, I believe is the largest in the country. I spent the whole day there. They have new & used books. I do this when I go to Portland. And of course buy a whole bunch of books. I love to read. I was really interested in the Bible when I was a kid, I was very curious. I liked other books as well, but I remember almost being obsessed with having the Bible. Is that strange? I too, 'go away' to other places when I read, & I get lost in the characters too.

  5. When I was old enough to babysit I used to save up my moneey to buy the latest Nancy Drew books! I remember they were $1.72 (Cdn.) at K Mart!!
    Yup. reading used to take me far away to all kinds of places and all kinds of adventures. When I was drinking (in my twenties) I could hardly wait for the newest Stephen King book- funny that he too is an alcoholic!!

    BTW I LOVE Gone with the Wind, but what's wrong with Scarlett? She's my idol LOL- JK


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