Saturday, September 8, 2012

Literary Love

The first book I ever loved...

When I saw this writing prompt, my first instinct was to break out into hives.  That's my usual response to questions which concern my favorite book or anything along those lines.  I love books.  I have many books I love.  And many authors I enjoy reading.  I don't think I could ever pick just one "favorite". 

As far back as I can remember I have loved books.

I learned to write my own name for the sole purpose of being able to get my very own library card.  The librarian told me I had to be able to write my name on the card before I could have my own.  So I went home and harassed my parents into teaching how to print those two words would would entitle me to the treasure I wanted so badly.

In the days when kindergarten was optional and learning didn't really start until first grade, I begged and pleaded with my kindergarten teacher to teach me to read.  Finally, she consented and sent home first readers for me to master.  I still remember feeling quite pleased with myself over learning to read the word "straw" in the Three Little Pigs.  Hey... it's a hard word when you are 5 and just learning!

My mind wandered back over my years of reading love.  The initial knee-jerk reaction to the prompt began to fade and I realized that it wasn't as bad as the ol' "what's your favorite" question.  This wasn't a matter of choosing one book over another.  I had only to wander down my memory lane of literary enjoyment and find the book that first captured my imagination.

I think of hours spent with Nancy Drew solving mysteries.

Days in covered wagons, settling the open prairies with Laura Ingalls Wilder

Escapades and antics lived vicariously through Ramona Quimby.

Tears shed over a little runt pig... "some pig"... and the loss of a loving barn spider who lived in the corner of his doorway.

Through all the stories and all the fictional friends - one keeps pushing to the front of the line.  The first book I remember completely enthralling me.  The first story that made me want to crawl into the pages and be with the character.  The first book to take me completely outside anything I knew and introduce me to a world very very different from my own.  The first book I read over and over and over again.

The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. 

I must have been in about 4th grade when I first came across this book.  Even after all these years; just seeing the name written and thinking about the story, makes me want to pick the book up and read it again. 

Would I still feel the same about this story based on the real life "Lost Woman of San Nicolas" if I read the book today?  Would I still be amazed at her strength, courage, and self-sufficiency?  Would the love still be there?   I like to think so.  I may even put it to the test.

So tell me, what was the first book you ever loved?

6 comments:

  1. My favorite one growing up was Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L' Engle

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    1. A Wrinkle in Time is another one that I read over and over again. Completely fascinated by the other worlds she discribes and the idea of traveling space and time. But for some reason I never got into any of her other books. I wonder if I would appreciate the others now.

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  2. Ooh, Jennifer, I loved that book too! Always fun to contemplate literary loves.

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  3. "So tell me, what was the first book you ever loved?"

    Must you ask such difficult questions?! Speaking of breaking out in hives. ;D

    No, really, it's a great question and makes me look back long and hard. If it doesn't have to be a chapter book, then I'm going to have to say Aesop's Fables, On Beyond Zebra by Dr. Seuss, and A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein. Those were constantly on demand as bedtime stories, no matter how many times I'd heard the stories before.

    The first series I ever just TORE through as a solo reader was the Chronicles of Narnia. That's when I really knew that reading was my one true love. I'll be buying the Narnia set for my godson this Christmas. :)

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    1. A Light in the Attic is still a favorite of mine. And Where the Sidewalk Ends!

      I have been contemplating reading the Chronicles of Narnia again ever since the movies started coming out.

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