Tuesday, August 08, 2006

My Passion for books.......

When I was growing up, my father was an avid reader....and he passed that along to me as I grew up. I remember him telling me to never throw out a good book as you may want to go back and read it again. I still remember him in his recliner in the rec room reading until all hours of the night.....it drove my mother crazy!! I was reading adult (meaning for adults not children) books from age 8 onwards.....I would find them in the book case and half the time I wouldn't have a clue as to the meaning of some of the words....but I got most of the gist of the story. Then I discovered Zane Grey....and devoured every book of his that my father had. I did manage to come across Lady Chatterley's Lover when I was in my early teens....it was hidden in a closet, away from prying young eyes, but I snaffled it nevertheless and read it through and then replaced it in it's hiding place!!

I think it was just the need to read (unintentional rhyme there!) that caused me to read everything in sight. When I got older I did start being selective. I don't remember ever really reading very many normal young people's books, but some of the children's books that I had, dated back to the early part of the century.....from my mother's childhood.

At some point in time, I discovered romances.....ah!!... the delight of it!!...and my aunt had a stack of them!!!....and they were easy to read and would take me away to exotic places that I could only dream of visiting!!

I pretty much stuck with the romances and magazines throughout my 20's, 30's and 40's, mostly due to the fact that I was so busy with study and then marriage and kids, time to read became a precious commodity and as time was short, I wanted a quick read that would liberate me from the stresses of daily life....(doesn't every person want that at some point??).

As the kids got bigger and left home and "mom" had more time....I, along with my mate, re-discovered the local library. What an amazing resource!!! I found that I had certain tastes in my reading.....mysteries....British mysteries......drama....British drama.....some humour, biographies, history........it was a wonderful experience.

So now we are in present day.....in Kamloops.....and I have a stack of books that are just waiting to be read. I have discovered Peter Robinson....and writer of Inspector Banks mysteries, Ian Rankin, a mystery writer of Scottish origins......and I have a collection of books by Anne Perry, Maeve Binchy, Carol Drinkwater, Charlotte Bingham, Erica James,Gerald Durrell, Jacquie Durrell, Anya Seton and many many more (after all I DID inherit my father's collection), ....and they are a mixed bag....mystery, drama, biographical, nature ....and that's not even counting the 2nd hand books on Winston Churchill!!! I believe I have about 7 or more of them. We also have many classics, Canadian writers, poetry, English, Canadian and Irish.....the list is endless. The Kamloops Symphony Book sale was just a major source for me especially considering I was one of the volunteer sorters and had first divs!!

Lately I have been focused on Irish books....anything to do with Ireland and it's history, culture, geography, and of course literature. That is because I have developed a longing for information about the land of my ancestors....and it started with the reading of Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt...I then did some research and found that he was not the only McCourt to write, so I ordered anything by any McCourt family member from the library. I then found a list of Irish authors and poets and historical books on Ireland...which I copied and will work my way through. Trinity by Leon Uris was suggested to me....and so I got that and read it...and am now soon to tackle the sequel Redemption. The Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherford is also in my stack of books as are Roddy Doyle and Nuala O'Faolain among others.......I'm a tad obsessive with this particular subject.....but it's a good obsession!!

So..... in between all the "Irishness" I have also re-discovered Lucy Maud Montgomery.....I'm not so much reading Anne of Green Gables and others, but I'm reading Maud's journals which give an incredible insight into her life in PEI, and later years. She not only talks about her day to day life, but also how she's feeling emotionally and physically as well and her observations about people and life. There are several books of letters by her and 4 more volumes of journals that I'm going to tackle......and then I will go back and re read all the Anne books that I have. That should give me a wonderful basis to enjoy them with!!

My passion for books.......almost overwhelming at times.....but one that will never leave me.



Magnificent M said...

While on vacation I just re-read Anne of Green Gables. My daughter had just finished it and I picked it up to leaf through it and before I knew it I was knee deep in it laughing my head off. That crazy Anne Girl!

Reading it was like stepping back in time... I used to love to read and, like you, was reading "grown up books" at an early age. I would start a book at night and get so into it that I would stay up all night just to finish it.

Favorites were read again and again and always felt so comfortable and familiar. When I was in Toronto I realized we were staying in the neighborhood featured in one of my favorite childhood stories about a girl growing up in the depression. Suddenly then the area felt like "home".

When I "grew up" I purged a lot of my toys and things but I had a hard time getting rid of any of those books. What if I wanted to read them again?!! I ended up keeping many of my favorites and have re-read a few. I still have those books along with some of my mom's childhood story books (Pollyanna, Through the Looking Glass). Those old, used books are so precious to me and some of those are becoming a bit of a collection of antiques as I get older and older.

coramie said...

The LM Montgomery obsession began when I saw the musical of Anne here in Kamloops....which is a good adaptation by the way....so I then got the TV movie from the library, and then thought, "The book is so much better" and then it went from there. Maud is a very intriguing character...her emotional ups and downs were like a roller coaster right up until she died. My mom had collected some of the "Anne" books and my kids gave me a set a few years ago. Total Canadiana.....!!