1. Do you remember the first book you ever read on your own?
2. Do you remember how you felt? If not, maybe you remember how you felt seeing a child read for the first time?
3. Do you remember a book that you read again and again as a child?
4. Why that book? Have you read it again as an adult? If so, was it like you remembered?
5. Why do you read?
These are the questions proposed by Katia on her blog “Scribbly Katia.” She suggests people answer them on their blogs and to get a discussion going.
1. I don’t! Like Suzanne Kamata, I only remember Dick, Jane and Spot.
2. As far as I remember, I always loved reading. Weekly trips to the library were sacred, and we even actually BOUGHT books if we got Christmas money. My dad wouldn’t let us get up until 7 a.m.(!) and I was usually awake much earlier doing what I called “sneak reading.” I remember reading Heidi and the Five Little Peppers series, mostly during the early morning hours. Being poor, I guess I enjoyed stories about people who were even worse off–they saved their darning threads for re-use (sob!) My mom gave me a vintage edition of The Wizard of Oz, which unfortunately disintegrated in cardboard box “storage.”
3&4. Books I “read” over and over would include all the books read on Captain Kangaroo, which my siblings and I watched religiously for many long years. I also remember borrowing and reading everything I could get my hands on by Beverly Cleary. She had such a perfect notion of how children think, and her books kept me in stitches. Her character Ramona was always in trouble, but it all made sense to me. Ramona wanted to know how Mike Mulligan went to the bathroom that day he managed to dig the entire foundation for a building with his famous steam shovel in Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (a Captain Kangaroo favorite). Finally! Someone to ask those questions I’d always wanted answers to.
Many years later, I found all of the Beevus and Ramona, and Henry Huggins and Ribsy books translated into Japanese, so I enjoyed them all over again with my daughters. Did Ramona make sense to them, too? Suffice it to say that we once took a trip, and after we were in the car and on our way, the two girls joyfully peeled off their clothes to reveal their pajamas–a chapter right out of the book! (Ramona hated the bother of changing her clothes in the morning, and once went to school with her school clothes over her pjs.) And weren’t they pleased with themselves!
5. Why do you breathe?