When you were a child

“We read to know we are not alone.” - C.S. Lewis

Dear lovely reader,

I have to say — the last letter is my favorite. Not because of what I wrote, but because of what you wrote.

From Florida to Illinois, Vermont to Oregon, you all shared such wonderful memories from your childhood about books.  Some of the titles you discussed, I remember fondly as well. A Wrinkle in Time, Ramona, Charlotte’s Web, Amelia Bedelia, and Old Yeller. Two of you mentioned Moomintroll, so now I’m on a mission to find it.  Others, like The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet and Big Joe’s Trailer Truck, have such evocative titles that I feel like I must have read them when I was a little girl.

I think what touched me most about your comments is how vivid these books still are to all of you. And just as important were the parents, siblings, and librarians who shared them. It made me realize that the books I now read with my daughters might someday be these kinds of touchstones for them as adults.

Over the years, I’ve come across a prayer that is found in different versions in many cultures. To assist in feeling love and kindness toward other people, you remember that they were once children and you picture them as they would have been at a young, tender age. Somehow, having read your comments, I am able to picture each of you, a small child with a big, exciting book propped open. And I am left heart-warmed and grateful, for books and for all of you.





4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sue Mathis
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 09:26:47

    I was talking with my daughter and asked her what was her favorite book from her childhood. She said, “The Secret Garden.” I guess I hadn’t read it with her because she stared reading at a very early age and read it on her own, but we read it for kids night at book club and I totally understand why she loved it so much. She told me she has re-read the book many times over the years and loves it just as much each time. Her tattered copy is still on her bookshelf and I suspect it will be there for a very long time. When I think about it, I can still see her as a little girl curled up on the couch reading her favorite book!

  2. Chickaloon Jenny
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 15:21:07

    My favorite book series and heroine, Pippi Longstocking, She slept with her feet on the pillow and her head under the covers, carried her horse to the second story, could spit further than anyone else and had friends near and far. Figure that factoid into my personality!

    Back to Zack… I lamented to his high school trig teacher that Zack was on his fourth reading of the five books in “Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe” trilogy. That rascally math mentor asked, “What else is there to read?”

  3. Jeanne
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 07:16:33

    We have a little Kindergarten boy sitting in class today with a ponytail sticking out from his forehead and another sticking out from just above his neck. His teacher read Stephanie’s Ponytail (by Robert Munsch) to the class and it obviously made an impact on him. He will probably always love that book! A huge “thank you” to his mother who was just fine letting him express himself that way!

  4. Mr. Baer
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 07:53:25

    Speaking of reading to one’s children, I’ll go to my grave still being able to recite all the Dr. Seuss books.

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