Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Good Book by Barbara Quinn

A good book is one of life’s pleasures. Since I was a kid and the bookmobile made its rounds to my neighborhood in the Bronx, I’ve had a book habit. I loved climbing aboard and rummaging around the shelves, presenting my card and having the book stamped. Seeing that van approach each week was almost as good as seeing the ice-cream truck!

Back then I was hooked on animal stories like My Friend Flicka, and Old Yeller. I read every Nancy Drew book and waited for the next one to come out. There were the Bobbsey Twins, and Anne of Green Gables. At one point I decided to start reading all books, beginning from the letter A, but that turned out to be extremely boring.

My parents read to me when I was a child. I still have my copy of The Light Princess, which was one of my favorite tales. It tells the story of a princess so light she had to be tethered to the ground.

I’ve never lost the reading habit. I suffered through some books in school and then immediately turned to ones that appealed to me. For every Kon-Tiki, and Red Badge of Courage(forgive me for not being seduced by you Thor Heyerdahl and Stephen Crane) there was a Gone With the Wind, Animal Farm, or Stranger in a Strange Land waiting.

I passed the habit on to my son.

Recently I read Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. What a fun way to find out about circus history. You’re taken back to the big tops and freak shows of old and you learn about the inner workings of the circus all while following a lovely romance between the circus vet and one of its stars. If you were ever charmed by the circus when you were a kid you’ll enjoy this one.

Sure books have to compete with lots of new media. I love a good movie, and TV and the internet have their charms. But a well-told tale is spell-binding. I’m looking forward to passing the reading habit on to my grandkids!


Kathryn Magendie said...

I remember the bookmobile, too! It came to our school and I'd rush inside and in my pocket was the money I'd saved to buy my books.

I "lived" in the library -- my faves in elementary school were any books about horses and dogs....and wolves.

Anonymous said...

Sitting down under a fan and reading a "book" is one exercise that never gets old. The age of electronic "books", electronic "newspapers", and all other "new and improved" ways to get information across is taking some of the life from us.
Still like holding the book.
Oren (FOA)

Barbara Quinn said...

I lived in the library too, Kat. And I still go there often.

Oren,Yep, you are so right..holding a book does have its charms and they never seem to fade.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Book fan here too. I've passed it on from my parents and grandparents down to my kids. Nothing better for improving grades (and attention spans) than by reading.

....and dear Oren...what's the FOA after your name mean?

Anonymous said...

Friend of Angie

Angie Ledbetter said...

LOL, Oren! In that case, I'll have to start signing my comments, (FOO) ;)

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