Thursday, January 29, 2009

a book ramble: chapter 1

Since I was once a child, a children's bookseller and an elementary schoolteacher, I have continued to maintain an interest in reading children's books. But I am quite out of the loop with regards to what's new, what's the current best seller, or what's likely to win the next awards, etc. My life circle is small at this point. I stay at home with our children without a vehicle most days and am occupied with the dailyiness of routine demands. I am happy to do this and rely on our local library to spice up our reading materials. However, Canada is not the United States and the world of books up here is not that same as down there. Profound, I know. So let me ramble and reminisce about my experiences with books.
As a child, my mother tried to keep up with my reading appetite by supplying me with Christian serial books from the local Christian bookstore. I also visited the local library and borrowed much of my reading material from there. I didn't have a guide to suggest great books, so I found a Nancy Drew and read every title I came across. The same thing with Bobbsey Twin books, the Happy Hollisters and even a token Hardy Boys book(my older brother had a few). The books commonly referred to as the Classics did not make their way into my reading circles nor did the award winners at least not intentionally.
In elementary school, I always did well in our reading groups and in junior high I read and studied with selected classmates two award winners: Johnny Tremain and Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry But I didn't appreciate the books and would simply read my books when given the first opportunity. At some point, I read my way through my mother's Christian historical fiction novels and series. I have since read and re-read those books and own some of them myself.
Somehow I made it through high school and college without ever being required to read what usually appears on most reading lists. I didn't notice or mind. Taking a job in the local Barnes & Noble brought me into the world of books that I really knew very little about. I suppose I could have pursued the local Christian bookstore as that is where the majority of my owned books had come from. But I wasn't interested in their employee dress code and a few other things.

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