Friday, February 24, 2006

What were your favorite books as a kid? by Lori Wilde

Argh! Time flies when you’re doing taxes. I looked up from my stack of receipts, saw the calendar and realized it was my day to blog. I’m totally not prepared. But here goes...

My husband e-mailed me a picture of a little girl sitting in a tree reading a book. He wrote a caption that said, The next Lori Wilde? I got teary remembering how I used to climb up in my favorite tree to get away from my three younger brothers and sisters with a beloved book. It was my moment of peace when I wasn’t caretaking big sister anymore, as I was swept away in an adventure.

I’d hoist myself up in a Chinaberry tree that had a thick L-shaped branch perfect for reading. We lived on a ten acre farm surrounded by ranches and a creek ran under the Chinaberry tree so if it was summer and I got too hot, I could lay the book aside and swing down into the cool water.

Tom Sawyer was my favorite book in those days. I wanted so badly to be a boy because they had way cool adventures. (This was back in the day when girls weren’t encouraged to have adventures.) I carried a sling shot in my back pocket and I knew how to use it. In my front pocket I carried marbles, a pocketknife, an interesting rock or two I might have found. I’d read my book and pretend I was Tom Sawyer, rafting his way down the Mississippi.

Or I’d shift gears and read Laura Ingalls Wilder and I’d be out on the prairie, battling the elements and harsh frontier life.

Somewhere around thirteen I stopped climbing trees. I wasn’t interested in the pocketknives and the sling slots anymore. That was the years I got my own stereo for Christmas and it was all about Donny Osmond and David Cassidy. (Okay so I had crappy taste in music---I even liked Tony Orlando and Dawn. ) But on the reading front my taste was much better. I devoured Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney.

I put up that picture of the little girl in the tree reading not only to remind myself of how far I’ve come. How I’ve changed and grown, but of how the cycle goes on. It warms my heart to know that out there somewhere is a kid who is finding her thrill through reading.

How about you guys? What were your favorite books growing up? What are your favorite reading memories?

8 comments:

MaryF said...

I used to read in a chinaberry, too! I loved Trixie Belden and Little House books.

Louis said...

Laying on the couch with my feet on the wall behind the couch. As a preteen I favored Zane Grey, William McLeod Raine, B M Bower, Robert Chambers and others.Now I'm into Roberts, Krentz, Lowell Foster Laurens, and of coarse the Warner Girls.

Diane Perkins said...

For me it was Cherry Ames and Nancy Drew, but, even then, what interested me the most were the boyfriends! I can still remember Ned saving Nancy from quicksand, but I remember nothing about the mysteries Nancy solved! I also loved Little Women, even though I wanted to throw the book against the wall when Jo didn't wind up with Laurie (my friend Julie would very strongly disagree with me on this). Then, like you, Lori, I discovered Phyllis Whitney, Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt.

It was always the romance I loved and it is what I still love to read! And the only thing I want to write.
Diane

Loribelle Hunt said...

I loved Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, Anne of Green Gables, Laura Ingles and Madeline L'Engle at various times over my youth. And a slew of others of course, but these are the ones that stand out in my memory. When I was a teenager I read a lot of SF like Greg Bear, Fred Saberhagen, and Michael Moorcock. The I discovered David Eddings! I still love Eddings, but that's about the time I started seriously branching into romance.

Elizabeth Hoyt said...

Isn't it funny that as little girls we read basically the same cannon--Laura Ingalls Winder, Nancy Drew, Little Women, etc? I think the interesting part is what people start reading just before puberty. That's when I got into horror of all things. Edger Allen Poe was a real favorite--nothing like reading The Cask of Amontillado by flashlight under the covers while listening for a parent's footsteps...

Lori Wilde said...

Mary,

I adored Trixie Beldon. I liked her better than Nancy Drew.

Lori Wilde said...

Oh, did anyone ever read Paul Zindel? I so loved his stuff when I was a teen. And then I discovered Stepehn King and went totally dark. LOL. Even wrote horror for awhile.

Annie Solomon said...

I'm a Trixie Belden fan, too. I read Nancy Drew, but the books always seemed exotic and old-fashioned, what with her coupe and chums and all. I think Trixie is a generation thing. Those of us longer in the tooth read her... I also loved Edgar Eager's series, Magic by the Lake, Half-Magic, etc. and the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace. I didn't have a chinaberry tree, but I did spend hours and hours reading. I clearly remember my mother shooing me out of the house to "play." But why play when you could read?