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Books – Bloganuary Prompt 10

I am a voracious reader, I have been since I first learnt how to read, with the old-fashioned “Dick and Jane” books. I, as little Sara Crewe’s father said in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess, “…she gobbles them up as if she were a little wolf instead of a little girl. She is always starving for new books to gobble, and she wants grown-up books—great, big, fat ones…”. That was me, except I didn’t read in any other languages, unlike little Sara. I did read big, fat, thick books at a relatively young age, I read “Jaws” when I was about 9. That one I actually told my father, who was a voracious reader himself, that the paperback was at the local 5 and Dime (gosh that makes me feel old) for whatever price it was. I knew he would give me the money to go and buy it for him so I could read it after he did.

I read Gone With the Wind for the first time at 10, not really understanding all of it. I remember asking my mom why Rhett said “Thank you for the crumbs from your table, Mrs Dives” when Scarlett said that she was “fond” of Rhett. My mom said that it was probably an editing problem, which in hindsight is hilarious. I can imagine that explaining something like that to a ten-year-old would be difficult.

When my family moved to New Mexico, one of the very few shops in this small town was a Goodwill. We, or my mom, would buy previously owned clothes and books there, which incidentally started my thrifting obsession. I started reading Nancy Drew books, some of them prints from the 1920’s and ’30’s. Then my mom gave me a copy of The Secret Garden, which opened up an entirely new world to me. In the meantime I would haunt the school library and bring home any book that seemed even slightly interesting. I read the entire Little House series, the Raggedy Ann and Andy series (with the chocolate ice cream mud puddles and enough sugar to rot every tooth in your head), the Mrs Piggle-Wiggle series, The Boxcar Children series, Ivanhoe, Robin Hood, Dickens, Dickinson, Poe, Lewis Carroll, poetry, short stories, plays, historical liturature, Girl Scout handbooks, dance instruction books, books about ballerinas, about witches, about fairies, as well as any and all books assigned in class. I would read in class during lessons, late at night on a school night, in the car sitting backwards, slouched upside-down in the easy-chair, laying on the floor in front of the tv, on the front porch, on the school bus, during lunch time.

I would read any time I could get my hands on a book. Books were my escape hatch to other worlds, my only solice and also my addiction.

I can’t really pinpoint that one, single, book that changed my life, unless it was that first Dick and Jane book that helped teach me to read. My mom told me that, just before starting Grade 1, I was worried about just how the teacher would be able to teach me to read. I thought that I was too stupid to learn, I suppose.

I have Ikea bookshelves filled to bursting with all the orphaned books that I have been able to pick up through the years. I’ve moved six times over the last 35 years, and I’ve almost always managed to drag my books with me.

I have many old faithful books that I have read dozens of times, and I am always on the lookout for new books to devour.


Published by 30yearsinitaly

American born, transplanted in Italy at the age of 19 in 1987. Been living here ever since. Italian husband, Italian son and Italian cat.

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