Monday, September 15, 2014

How books saved my life

The library in Altavista. Our county has four branches.

Does that title seem like an exaggeration? Over the top? Maybe.
Books didn’t literally save my life. A pile of books didn’t literally keep me from dying.
But they helped me survive mentally. I got through a lot of trying times because of books, especially when I was a child.

Books made me feel secure. I read some books over and over, so they were familiar to me.
I suppose they were an escape, too, from tension that was sometimes in the house, from anxiety and fear.
The real thing books did for me was to show me the world. I learned that other people lived different lives from me. I learned how other people treated each other. I was inspired to live a different life.

I visited the county library quite often, along with the school library.
I loved walking up and down the aisles of the county library. For a while, I stuck to the area holding the juvenile books, but gradually I started looking at the books in the other sections.
The librarian, Mrs. Guthrie, seemed to be able to identify every book in the place. She knew where every book was and whether or not I might like it.

Here were some of my favorites:
*Trixie Belden books
*The Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace
*A Gift of Magic by Lois Duncan
*Jane-Emily by Patricia Clapp
*Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
*Rosamond du Jardin books featuring the characters Pam and Penny Howard and Tobey Haydon
*Encyclopedia Brown books
*Books featuring the Tuckers (Tina, Terry, Merry, Penny, and Tom) by Jo Mendel
*Nancy Drew books
*Robin Kane books
*A biography of Amelia Earhart that I read over and over
*Sherlock Holmes stories

I had such a good time working back through my memories, remembering the books I read as a young person. Now I want to read them again.

Chase Bird seems to like reading, too. We're now reading "Personal," by Lee Child.

What books did you read as a child? And if you have children, what are they reading?


  1. i have never been a "reader". i read what was required in school and i have always had trouble building off what i read. the same occurs now and i no longer try.

    my hubs saved my life, literally!!!!

  2. I loved the Little House on the Prairie books. And of course Judy Blume.

  3. I loved Trixie Belden -- I think I read them all, have most of them. And Nancy Drew, Sal Fisher: Girl Scout, all the Misty of Chincoteague books and Alan Payson Terhune's "Lad a Dog" series. I loved to read from day one -- and now, even more! You are right -- it is indeed a lifesaver.

  4. my sis and i loved trixie belden. also loved bambi and charlotte's web.

  5. I read many books as a young kid and some I read many times because we didn't have many books. I didn't read one of the books you list! My Mom read to us almost every night. How about Planes for Bob and Andy?

  6. Oooh, how I love books! I've always loved books and have found many a comfort in them. I read darn near anything I could get my hands on as a kid, and now with my kids I'm revisiting old favorites - Charlotte's Web, The Trumpet of the Swan, The Indian in the Cupboard, Hatchet, Little House series, Summer of the Monkeys, the Romana Quimby books - I have a wishlist on Amazon set up for books I want to read to my kids as I remember them. :)

  7. Many of my dearest friends are books, and always have been. I consider re-reading favorite books like revisiting old friends. There were so many, many books I loved, but some of my childhood favorites include:

    The Chronicles of Narnia
    Black Beauty
    Jane Eyre
    Little Women
    Encyclopedia Brown
    The Linda Craig series
    A Little fact, everything by Frances Hodgson Burnett
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    The Black Stallion
    The Cricket in Times Square
    The Little House books
    Goodnight, Mister Tom
    Bridge to Teribithia
    The Little White Horse
    Five Children and It

    Good grief, I could probably go on and on and on...

  8. I don't think I have read any Robin Kane books. But I have read many of the others. I feel the same way about books.
    Pierce is reading a book called Dragon's Egg. And I'm reading a book at night to all 3 boys called Young Fredle.

  9. I was a big Bobbsey Twins fan. Had every book in the series!!

  10. I had a collection of the Little Golden Books as a child, so there were many different and colourful stories in them.

    As an adult I like to read mostly non fiction...I love to read encouraging and uplifting stories such as in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Great post, Tina, and I love the photo of Chase Bird reading. :)

  11. The Little House Books
    The Anne of Green Gables Books and many other books by Lucy Maud Montgomery
    The BFG
    Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary books

    P.S. Hello, dear Tina... I left blogland for several months but I am back now and have been catching up on your blog. I am so sorry about your mother. Hugs. I now blog at:

  12. Yes, I was a reader growing up. I used to get stacks of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books from the library. I read other books, too, of course. Books are a nice escape.

  13. i find i read more when we are away ... we just got back & i just enjoy having the chance to chill & get back into reading. when i am home ... i feel have so much more to do ... & it is hard to quiet my mind to read. i need to work on that. ( :

  14. Oh I loved Nancy Drew! Books were good companions for me, too, since my home life was kind of dysfunctional. I also read the heck out of The Yearling, all of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Gone With The Wind.

  15. oh i love to read and i love a trip to the library!

  16. Let's see, Little Women, Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, The Bobsey Twins. My parents were always reading, so nearly all of us kids turned into readers, too. I remember reading a book while pushing a vacuum around on Saturday mornings!

  17. Books can be healing in many ways. I loved Nancy Drew as a kid. Also one of my favorite books I remember reading was a book called, Don't Call Me Katie Rose. I still enjoy reading and am so glad that it helped you through many rough times.

  18. I love that picture of Chase Bird!! OIive, the pug, won't read on her own but loves when I read to her at night. I was a big fan of Nancy Drew and Cherry Ames. "Little Women", "Alice in Wonderland", "It's Like This, Cat." So many...


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