Wednesday, June 13, 2007

How can you sit and read a book in a day?

"And then she took a long breath and looked behind her up the long walk to see if any one was coming. No one was coming. No one ever did come, it seemed, and she took another long breath, because she could not help it, and she held back the swinging curtain of ivy and pushed back the door which opened slowly--slowly.
Then she slipped through it, and shut it behind her, and stood with her back against it, looking about her and breathing quite fast with excitement, and wonder, and delight."
from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Every time I crack open the cover of a new book I remember the feeling I got when I read the lines above when I was but eight years old. Starting a book makes me feel just like Mary holding back the ivy, pushing open the door, and wondering with excitement what new adventures, hidden paths and dangerous quests await. The Secret Garden was the first book I ever chose on my own. I remember that my twelve year-old brother needed a particular novel off his summer reading list. I was driving my Mother crazy whining about how bored I was. Mom looked at Dad with that look that meant, please take her with you! Dad looked at me and asked if I wanted to go to the book store. I remember walking along lines and lines and rows and rows of books. Dad helped my brother find the one he needed and then he asked me if I wanted to pick out a book too. Dad worked hard and Mom stayed at home and the four kids all attended private school so money was tight. This was a treat indeed. I remember Dad showing me the wall of chapter books for children and saying pick one. I took my time reading the backs and looking at the covers. Trying to decide which one to get. I remember feeling so grown up getting to choose my own book. I showed Dad a green book with flowers on it and a little girl. "The Secret Garden, that's a big one, you sure?" Dad said. I knew that I wanted to make the most of this chance and not only choose a book that sounded interesting but that would last. I remember sitting on the couch reading that book. I remember Mom telling Dad that I was reading it way too fast. I devoured that book. After that we began frequenting the book store and I remember Dad showing me where to look on the BookStop price tag to make sure the book was under the allowed limit. I remember gobbling up Sweet Valley High and Babysitter's Club and Choose-Your-Own Adventure novels. While my friends spent their babysitting money on clothes and make-up I spent mine on books. In high school I graduated to Stephen King. It wasn't until the summer before my junior year that I read my first fantasy novel. Of course given to me by Dad. That however, is another tale down memory lane and another post.



4 comments:

Sam said...

Ooooh, I was big into the Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High! I always cheated at choose your own adventures though.

DC Designs said...

by cheating did you read both ways and then decide?

i used to decide read it that way and then go back and do it the other way.

it was like getting a whole new book. :)

i tell the hubby all the time that somebody should write a choose your own adventure for adults :)

Craftheart said...

yep, blogger is much better! but i need a way to drive more traffic thru. love your blog!

TrueMirage said...

passionate readers unite! in elementary school I used to sneak back into the classroom during recess so I could read! and if the teachers caught me they'd make me stop reading and go outside to play - can you believe it?

When I"m Not Reading.....