Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Where it All Began...

This is not me...or the place I first learned to read - just to clarify!

I am an avid reader (clearly). Am always guilty of carrying one if not two books in my purse and buy purses based on their potential to hold at the very least a mass market paperback. I currently have way more books than shelf room and have been forced to pack away quite a few in boxes. So where did this obsession we might call it, with books begin?
Take a look below and find out which books hooked my heart and got me reading in the first place.

Two classic children's books that I had read to me over and over again before bedtime each night. I remember feeling so comforted by Goodnight Moon, and the little old woman whispering 'hush'.
The Giving Tree will always be more than just a fond childhood memory for me. I still have my tattered much loved copy and will never give it up. This book is so worth the read for ANYONE - not just kids. It's poetic, heartbreaking, and beautiful.

The two classics of the weird wacky storytelling world. Berenstain Bears was an obsession of mine from about 5-9 or 10 I'd say. I loved these books and the wild, sometimes wacky adventures this family would get into. Dr. Seuss is of course a no brainer. I think pretty much every child remembers these books with either fear or absolute adoration. I remember Are You My Mother? A newly hatched bird falls from the nest and attempts to find its mother across a treacherous (for a baby bird) landscape. This story both scared me, because at the time the thought of losing my mother was my biggest fear, but also enthralled me, because the story takes you on an adventure and show kids how big the world can seem when looked at through new eyes. I think I let out a huge sigh of pent up relief at the end when the bird did in fact eventually find its mommy.  
The three classics of my childhood, Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon both written by L.M. Montgomery and then the enthralling and captivating tale of Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden, to this day still one of my all time favourites.
I don't think much needs to be said about these ones, pretty much everyone has either read or heard of them. Each book revolves around the tumultuous growing up years of spirited young girls in a world where they are meant to be staid.

Now, when the world was lauding Harry Potter and it was soaring to phenomenon status, I was hooked on the tragic tale of 3 orphaned children sent to stay with the conniving, evil and money hungry Count Olaf. The Series of Unfortunate Events was the series that really propelled me into reading on my own. These books were great while they lasted, and although I was too old to continue the series by the time the last few came out, I still remember the earlier books and how much these three kids stole into my world and made it seem more adventurous. I used to get lost in these books and loved every minute of their misadventures and creative escapes from the count.

I had to read each of these books in middle school. Angel Square in grade 6 and Hatchet in grade 7.
I loved them both for different reasons. The first, Angel Square is set in post WWII Ottawa - I was born and raised in Ottawa and so it was so fun to read a book set in the past and discover some of the things that still stood in my city. Most notably the Richie's Feed and Seed where my mom still likes to drag me for all her plant goodness. Hatchet is the harrowing and sometimes horrifying tale of a young boy who has to survive completely on his own in the Canadian wilderness after his plane crashes. When all is tripped down to the bear essentials - how will you survive? I remember that being one of the questions my class talked about after my book report on this novel. I remember feeling both saddened and glad when this book ended, mostly because I found it emotionally taxing. But I also felt like this was the first "real book" I'd ever read on my own.

So there you have it, a list of the books that got me into reading and the ones I still remember fondly and with great memories today. Still own them all (although my mom kindly asked me to packed them away for safe keeping) and will most likely read them all to my kids some day.

Read - it's for your own good! :P

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I remember reading all of these books as well when I was growing up! I was obsessed with Bernstein Bears and Clifford the Big Red Dog :P And I was forced to read Hatchet in grade 6...although it ended up becoming one of my favourite books as well!