21 thoughts on “Weekend Question Thread

  1. There were kid’s books that my mother swears I was reading at twenty months, but, my first honest-to-goodness novel wasTwenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The movie came out when I was about six and a half, so I said I wanted the book. My mother got some kid’s version with lots of illustrations, and I said, “nope, I want the real thing.” It took a lot of looking on her part to find a bookstore that had it, but, she found one. I think I read it three times in the next couple of months.
    I still have it.
    Thanks, Mom.

  2. Taught myself how to read at three. First books I remember going back to over and over again were Raggedy Ann and Andy books, based on the Johnny Gruelle characters. But I too remember diving right into the Little House books and loving my copies to death. Then the Judy Blumes. The reading really began then and it hasn’t stopped.
    Saw a book in a local bookstore that was a fun guide to young adult books that appealed to girls – I opened it up and was it a trip for me, as I’d read most of the ones listed in there. Nearly went to the library from there and checked ’em all out again.
    Interestingly enough, my MIL is the same way about the Oz series of books that L. Frank Baum wrote. Loved ’em when she was young, and she still has a gorgeous old collection of the series in her house. She was thrilled when I came back from Kansas City with a gorgeous red satin bag with a sequined ruby slipper on it that said “Click your heels three times…” for her, even though she was also quick to remind me that the slippers in the book had originally been silver, not ruby. True dat.

  3. The Criss-cross Shadow by, er, “Franklin W. Dixon”! It’s a Hardee Boys book. And so the first pavement stone on a road to the genres was laid…

  4. I too taught myself to read when I was 2 1/2 or three. “Uncle Wiggly”, the Winnie-the-Pooh books and ” A Child’s Garden of Verses” are the ones I used. My folks thought I was just reciting them from memory and handed me another book of poetry ” Hailstones and Halibut Bones” that I couldn’t have memorized and I proved I was actually reading.

  5. In school, various Dick and Jane readers, outside school…(looking it up on the Google), The Nutshell Library, by Maurice Sendak.
    But even before learning to read, I was poring through all sorts of books that the parents had…encyclopedias, Time-Life science series, illustrated “Great Books,” and so on…sure, just looking at the pictures at first, but eventually reading them. Because I like to read…that’s the one addiction I hope to never get over…

  6. i remember alligators in the sewers. a fly goes by. but i dimmly remember mom reading us nancy & plum. i devoured the narnia books and trixie beldon. much better than nancy drew.

  7. I have no idea what book I read first, but I read every single Hardy Boys book, most of them more than once. Those were my first exposure to the real joy of losing myself in a good novel.

  8. Uncle Wiggly!
    Over the years I have tried to find the particular editions that I had when I was very young, with no success. There are a whole bunch available atProject Gutenberg.
    I did find one published some time after 1939 that wasn’t one that I had as a kid but has great illustrations, a few of which I’ve uploadedhere. But it was a bit of a disappointment because one of my favorite parts of the editions I had as a kid was the close of each story where there was promise of more:

    But don’t worry, I’ll find a way to get him out, and in case we have ice cream pancakes for supper I’ll tell you, in the next story, how Uncle Wiggily got out of the bear’s den, and how he went fishing—I mean Uncle Wiggily went fishing, not the bear.

  9. Oh, Dee Lorelei — wasn’t “A Child’s Garden of Verses” the most wonderful?
    How could I have forgotten it!

  10. Can’t remember the exact book – but if memory serves there were books from some book series (name currently escapes the brain – orange pebbly cover) that had some AWESOME artwork and children’s poems (ex: Eletelephony…drawings by Walt Disney!), and definitely the old Sesame Street books. Once I was able to read, it was over for me. Like Michael above, an addiction I hope to never recover from…I need a shirt that says: “Bookwhore”. I love to read and read and read… I love the feel of a book in my hands, and when it’s a book I hate to put down (like b/c I have to go to work or sleep), I love it even more!

  11. After picture books and school readers, it wasCharlotte’s Web. My grandmother bought it for me at a 1st-grade book fair. I think my firstfavorite book was Bel Kaufman’sUp the Down Staircase, a recommendation from Mom.

  12. Wow. I feel embarassed with the highbrow books listed above.
    The first book I can remember reading: I can’t remember the title, but the stirring and vivid prose is forever embeded in my brain:
    See Dick. See Jane.
    Look Spot !
    Run Spot Run !
    And not far behind was Green Eggs and Ham.

  13. AH!!! Found it, the series was “Childcraft”! Each of the books was broken out into “Poems for Childhood” “Fairy Tales” and moved into more and more developed stuff – all w/great artwork by various talented folks.

  14. Karen Marie, those pics look exactly like the copy of Uncle Wiggly my grandparents had . And yea, who could forget the icecream pancakes? LOL Well I did til you reminded me. My fav poems from a Childs garden was the one about the swing, and another one about going to a faraway land from your sickbed, or was that an AAMilne?
    Ohhh, another early fav was The Owl and the PussyCat. That may have been the one I memorized and then taught myself that all those squigley lines actually stood for noises and sounds and words and stuff.

  15. I don’t remember any specific book as being the first book I remember reading, but I was reading long before I had specific memories of things in general, so reading would have been unremarkable enough to me for me not to have a memory like that.
    The first book my parents know I read for sure wasThe Great Twiddlebug Mystery, or The Terrible Mess in my Friend’s Front Yard.
    According to the folks, I’d been “reciting” my books along with my mom or dad when being read bedtime stories, and they figured I had all my books memorised. (Chances are good I was actually reading long before they knew it, because I can’t memorise things like that to save my life.) Then, one day, my dad sneezed while reading to me and I continued right along with the story. Afterward, he remarked to my mom that “I sure had that story memorised well,” and when she asked what book it was, he told her, and she said, “She can’t have that book memorised; I only bought it this afternoon.”

  16. My parents were book nuts, and made trips to the library once a week. The ones I remember being read to were the Color Kittens and all the Dr Seuss books.
    The Encyclopedia Brown series were some of the first books I read.

  17. The first book I remember knowing was a book (and in fact my earliest memory) was The Hobbit. I remember sitting on the floor in front of our couch, while my mom sat on the couch with my brother next to her, reading to us from The Hobbit. (The scene was the trolls, and I was very, very worried about Thorin.)
    The earliest book I remember reading for myself was Go, Dog, Go. I’m not sure if I was really “reading” it, or if I was just remembering it as I looked at the pictures. I’m not sure it really matters–it’s the first book I remember looking at and thinking I was understanding by myself.
    “Do you like my party hat?”
    The first book I remember checking out (though I’m sure I checked out tons before this) was Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising. There were also several Andre Norton young adult books in the pile, but I don’t remember specific titles. (I worked through everything she ever wrote, then moved on to anything that had cover art anything like it.) There were also the Nancy Drews and Hardy Boys early on.

  18. And who didn’t read Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle In Time”?
    OMG — I loved that book.
    And Pippi Longstocking, too.

  19. This thread is bringing on a torrent of memories:A Child’s Garden of Verses andChildcraft were passed back and forth between my two sibs and me in a round robin; it seemed one of us always had ourselves buried in one or the other. I think my first real novel wasDanny the Champion of the World, one of Roald Dahl’s lesser-known stories, but by far my favorite.
    BTW, Ophelia Dahl, Roald’s daughter, was one of the founders ofPartners in Health, which has been working in Haiti for about two decades – a worthy group if you’re still looking for somewhere to donate. And if you want to get something for your Valentineand contribute to PIH, I’m giving them 100% of the proceeds from sales atmy etsy site through the end of the month. I’ve raised $507 so far – a drop in the bucket, but it’s the only way I can think of to help, and can’t afford to give them much on my own.

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