Sunday, July 15, 2007

Books, Books, Books

My apologies for being gone so long. Sheesh where is the time going? On that note.....

My daughter's recent blog brought back some pleasant memories. When the children were small I used to read to them. It started with story books that could be completed in one reading and then we progressed to longer books. I started to read at the dinner table while they were eating dessert. "The Indian In The Cupboard" was the first one I can remember. I like to think that that exercise not only developed in my children a love of reading but in a great measure developed their imagination. I fear we live in a society where the TV and now the computer does everything for children. they don't have to spell...we have spell check, they don't have to know math..we have calculators, they don't even have to imagine....the images are in in wide screen.
I read with satisfaction that Corinne and the girls had a trip to the book store where they were introduced to "Choose Your Own Adventure" books. One of the things we can give to our children in a love of books. Thanks to the library, everyone regardless of your income bracket can access books.
Now I am going to tell you how I came to love reading. This may be hard for some people to believe but yes there was life before television. We didn't have one when I was growing up! Firstly they were too expensive and secondly my mother was convinced we would all grow up illiterate! Friday night the library was open until 9pm. After supper we would pile into the car and drive down to the library on Bertie Street in Fort Erie. Miss Duckworth was the librarian, God rest her soul. Four foot nothing and as old as God she ruled that edifice like a lion. No one was exempt from her rule. There was no talking, no dripping umbrella's and you had better remove your snow boots at the door! Winter trips to the library meant taking your slippers the hardwood floor was cold! The room wasn't large ,there was a central aisle dividing the room. The right side was for children the left side was for adults. No child would even consider crossing the imaginary line. By the time I was in Grade 7 I had read all the children's books and my father went to Miss Duckworth to request permission for me to "cross the aisle".
He had been checking out books for me written by such authors as Thomas Costain and Frank Yerby. She had to "think about it" as she was concerned about "setting a precedence." Secretly I think she was pleased in the development of my mind and used to ask me question about the books I read. We came to this agreement, if there was no one in the library I could browse the adults shelves but if someone came in I had to back to the children's section. Can you even imagine such an arrangement today? In this society of "No One Is Going To Tell My Child What To Do"..shaking my head. Well, I want you to know I wasn't scared for life..lololol By the time I was in Grade 9 I was reading War and Peace.
Hmmm maybe it is time to revisit some of those titles again. I remember "The Black Rose" and "Below The Salt" as timeless stories of knights and ladies, mystery and adventure.
One day I will introduce my grand daughters to them. Miss Duckworth would approve.

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