Friday, May 21, 2010

Reading, a trip down memory lane

Yes, this morning I'm pondering reading.

I've always been an avid reader. Always.

When I was in grade school, Catholic, in case you didn't know, I got in trouble for my reading.

You hear all the time how reading is the foundation for all other studies. Even helps you in math supposedly. Perhaps I should have read more, as I pretty much suck in math.

Anyway, back to St. Roberts and the nuns...oh we weren't talking about nuns? Crap.

I remember being in the 3rd grade, so 7 years old, and having the nun send a note home to my mom. 'Debra reads too much'. WTF??? Apparently they thought I was one sided. Because I voraciously read all the books I liked, 'Bobbsey Twins' at that time, I was not a rounded person. I will admit, I read nothing but mystery...

Looking back, I understand what they were getting at. I read all the time, and I only read one type of book. The other kids would run about on the playground, and I would read. Perhaps that's how I ended up rounded in figure after all.

But still....reading is a joy for me. A pleasure. A guilty indulgence. Leave it to the nuns to make something wonderful feel guilty!

I , now, really love to read all things. I have always been a mystery buff. As I said earlier, the Bobbsey Twins were my first foray into the mystery series. Trixie Belden followed and of course Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys came soon after. I read every single one of those books. I loved them. Parts of them still come back to me today in fact. Talk about impact. They were followed by Stuart Woods, James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark, just to name a few of my more recent passions.

I love everything about reading. I love choosing a book, sitting down with it and beginning to bond. Learning the characters, loving them, hating them, gosh I just love it all.

I read mysteries. A lot of them. I never try to figure out who did it. I read and immerse myself into the story and let it lead me and take me to the conclusion. It's so much more fun for me that way. Turning that last page and thinking OMG! HE did it! Oh yes, I love surprises.

A few years ago, I decided I should broaden my horizons...ya the damn nuns were right.

OMG what an eye opener for me.

I started with Pearl S. Buck's 'The Good Earth'. Oh it moved me deeply. I was there. I was learning the culture. It pained me, it brought me joy. I read. I felt. I reveled.

One morning at coffee hour here in the park, a friend had a book she was leaving at the library. I looked at it. She said she didn't like it. I was intrigued. I took it. I was hooked from the first page. 'Water For Elephants'. Wow. Again, I was there. I cried, and yet again, I was touched. I'm smiling thinking about it.

We have a book club here in the park that a few keep trying to get me to join. My favorite librarian back in Houghton Lake is similarly on my case to attend their book club. That's not my bag. To me, that would make reading a chore not a pleasure. I want to read. I want to have deep thoughts about what I read. I don't want to share that with others. I want to get out of a book what I want to, not what they think I should have.

I'm sitting here with my eyes closed thinking of some of my favorite reads.

*Palindrome" by Stuart Woods
*"Memoirs of a Geisha'
*The 'Twilight' series by Stephanie Meyers (OMG YES I know they were written for teenage girls, but I was hooked. Totally and completely!)
*Harry Potter series, yep I waited in line at midnight for the last one.
*"Moonraker's Bride". I'd actually like to read that again as I was about 12 when I read it and I don't remember anything but the name. I'm guessing it had to be something special or it would not have stuck in my mind all these years!
*"Girl With a Pearl Earring"
*"Pillars of the Earth" that Ken Follett!
* the 'Little House on the Prarie' series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Oh how I loved those books. I still have the set to share with my grandchildren. I was part of that family. I remember reading and being so excited to pick up the next book. Oh just to see what 'Half Pint' was going to get up to, or where Pa was going to go. I do believe that set might have been the most memorable thing of my youth as far as reading goes. Yes, I do believe.....

Well, I'm sure the list is endless...but I love how it's evolved over the years. I love that I can lose myself in something other than mystery.

Where are those nuns today? Today they could send a note home that said 'How well she's read to reason against reading!'......ahhhh one of my true indulgences....I do so love the Bard.

If I could send a note to the nun might be this.

“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”

- Confucius

or this.

“He that loves a book will never want a faithful friend, a wholesome counselor, a cheerful companion, an effectual comforter. By study, by reading, by thinking, one may innocently divert and pleasantly entertain himself, as in all weathers, as in all fortunes.”

- Barrow

Or to make it simplistic, this.

“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

- Dr. Seuss

I know that very few people read this blog anymore...perhaps I should have posted this on my Weight Watcher blog...(hmmm I might just do a copy and paste after all!), but if you do read, and if you have read books that have touched your heart, made you laugh, left an imprint on you, please share.



Marcelle said...

Am learning....

TJ said...

good post Pixie! I asked a question on FB & Twitter a while back- wanted a good book to read, went and bought one, She's COme Undone- Wally Lamb and its sat on my table for over 3 weeks now. I read alot- OH BLOGS! and I can not seem to find time to make for myself to go read this book. I want to, I really do. I NEED to...I'm gonna.... I promise. :)

Kathy said...

Deb, you would probably like the Janet Evanovich series about her bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum. Very light and very funny. I also love mysteries and read all the Nancy Drew books as a young teenager. It is better to read them in order. She started with "One for the Money" and has written "Finger Lickin Fifteen". Waiting for 16 to come out. I also like the Sue Grafton series.

Paula said...

Loved this post! I love to read as well. I miss living in NYC and reading on the train to and from work. Now that I'm back in MI, it seems I don't have the time anymore.
@TJ: She's Come Undone is one of my all time favorite books. You must read it!

Debby said...

Kathy, I've read every single one of Janet Evanovitch's books...I didn't like them at first, but then they made me laugh. Anything that makes me laugh is goooood!

I've been meaning to try Sue Grafton. I read one once and didn't like it, but I need to give her a fair chance and try another.

Daphne said...

I read a lot of autobiographies these days - but hardly any fiction. Fiction doesn't seem to live up to the wonderful fiction I read as a child - and Laura Ingalls Wilder was one of my very favourites: I read them so often that they are falling to bits! I loved many British authors too but reading her books was, in my imagination, like a trip to America!

Katherine said...

Wonderful post. I loved reading about your journey. It took me somewhere else :-)

I read voraciously too. Terry Pratchett is one of my favourites. Funny.