Read Me a Story…

I haven’t picked up a book all week, yet I find myself being full of new posts! Its wonderful. After another interesting day, I have a new tale to tell.

Today was the birthday celebration for one of my closest friends (and fellow book lover) even though her true birthday isn’t until the end of the month. While in the middle of such wonderful festivities, I couldn’t help but have my heart melt at the sight of my dear friend’s little sister sitting at a far table alone. With a book, of course. I knew better than to interrupt, since it was good enough to bring to a party. Instead, I casually strolled by and took a look at the heading at the top of the page (rather than bent down to the cover). A hardcover by Christoper Pike. I smiled because I was thinking I remember reading him at that age. Which is what today’s post is inspired from: books I loved as a child.

Black Beauty is unquestioningly at the top of that list. Even though I said I loved that book from first grade to sixth, I don’t think I ever quite finished it. If I did, it was only the abridged version in any case. What little I do remember of the story is quite disheartening, seeing as it involves the cropping of puppy ears, the whipping of horses, and bloody, untended saddle wounds. I don’t know why I loved that book, I just know that I did. Somewhere in there I made a point to read The Classics like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Mody Dick (which I also enjoyed immensely, despite the advanced vocabulary). I remember checking out one book in particular half a dozen times. It was the biography on Joan of Arc. I barely understood the terms used, but I remember admiring her immensely for what little I did comprehend. Being different is such a foreign concept when you’re seven, that it doesn’t even appear to be an option. Its hard to say if that book changed my life, but it did something.

One of my favorite series as a wee thing was Hank the Cowdog. It involved the trials of a too-old cowdog trying to hold a ranch together. He had the not-too-bright sidekick, the love interest that was anything but impressed with him, and the villains that switched between buzzards and coyotes, depending on the book. Again, I don’t recall much more than I thought it was hilarious. I’m afraid to pick this series up again only to read a page and wonder What was I thinking?? I think part of my attachment to Hank came from the fact that it was a “chapter book”, and made me feel superior (I took pride in my advanced reading abilities back then). This is my only reasoning as of right now.

And, as previously stated in a different entry, I was not as impressed with Charlotte’s Web as Sara Nelson was. I read it in second, third and fourth grade, and even the first time around I didn’t find it amusing. Templeton is entertaining, Charlotte embodies the ideal mother figure that is so often neglected, and Wilbur is the small child inside of us all, just struggling to survive. Past that… its just a book to me. This indifference also is applied toward other books like: The Boxcar Children, The Babysitters Club, American Girls, and the like. I understand why people love them, but they were never for me.

I’ve also noticed a trend in my reading, dating back to elementary days: I fluctuate throughout genres. I peak with classics, descend into nonfiction – usually historical, then general fiction, and hit bottom* with thriller books. As a kid, my first “bottom” was the ever-popular Goosebumps, and the memory of some of them still make me shiver. About two years after that, I fell for R.L.Stine’s Young Adult Series Fear Street and anything by Christopher Pike (both of whom I still have immense respect for), and three years after that I got into Anne Rice and Poppy Z. Brite – and I have always loved her name, because its much to perky for vampire novels, and therefore amusing.

Its fun to reflect upon the books I enjoyed and were so devoted to for so long. Its the only way I can look back and see myself grow up in a way.

*I use the term “bottom” as a visual aid. I’m basing my imaginary book graph on emotion instead of content, and believe that thrillers can be just as intellectually stimulating as classics.

Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 7:25 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. Reading books when I was younger was great. A book series that I loved was Animorphs by K.A. Applegate. I thought it was the coolest thing to be able to transform into an animal just by touching it for a mere moment. Then it was even cooler that you could turn into that animal whenever you wanted to. Of course there has to be the bad side effect of only being able to be in animal form for two hours. Any longer and you get stuck in that form. But hey, being able to speak telepathically to people as an animal is always a plus right? And I agree with you on Hank. I loved that series, though I only remember a few books.

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