Throwback Thursday — Book Report

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Maggie chose the topic of “Reading Culture and Books.”

Maggie would like us to think about how our grandparents, parents, siblings, and friends felt about reading. Then consider how this impacted your life as we matured.

1. Who were the readers in your family?

My mother and my two older sisters were avid readers.

2. Were there some people who did not like to read or could not read?

My father was not a big book reader. His reading consisted mostly of the daily newspaper.

3. Did your family subscribe to the newspaper?

Yes, we subscribed to the daily newspaper.

4. If you did get the paper, was your Sunday newspaper considered special? What part did you enjoy?

Yes. It was bigger, the comics were printed in color, it include a local features magazine as well as Parade magazine. I liked the comics, the sports, and the movie sections.

5. Did your home have books strewn around? Hardbacks or paperbacks?

Not really. We had a few bookcases with a mixture of hardbacks and paperbacks. My mother was a fan of Reader’s Digest’s condensed books and my oldest sister was a member of the Book of the Month Club.

6. Did you frequent the library at school?

I did leverage the school library for papers that I had to write for my classes, but I used my local public library more than my school’s library.

7. How about the local community library? Did you have a library card?

Yes, because my school libraries were relatively small, I spent more time at the local public library. I did have a library card.

8. What was the first book you remember reading?

I don’t know. Maybe one of the Fun with Dick and Jane books.

9. Did you have a collection of books (Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Happy Hollisters, etc?)

I loved The Hardy Boys books and even Nancy Drew, but I checked them out from the library, so no big collections at home.

10. Did you read comic books? If so, what titles?

Yes, mostly DC and Marvel comics. I had a huge collection, but my father threw them all away when I went off to college. To this day that pisses me off.

11. Did you end up a bookworm, a casual reader, or someone who read only when required?

I’d say more of a casual reader.

12. Is there a book from your childhood you would like to read again? If so, what book?

Not really.

13. What book or books have been extremely meaningful or influential in your life?

Again, I’ve read so many books during my lifetime that it would be hard to pick specific books from my youth that were “extremely” influential. Maybe my love for The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew influenced my enjoyment of mystery and suspense books.

BONUS QUESTION: What book(s) do you frequently gift to others? Why?

Other than books for babies and toddlers that I get for my grandchildren, I rarely get books as presents for others. But one year for her birthday I bought my wife, who is a big Jane Austen fan, a vintage (1906) set of all of her books.

27 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday — Book Report

  1. Marilyn Armstrong May 19, 2022 / 11:58 am

    You may not be a big reader, but a gift of that vintage set must have been a wonderful gift. Almost as good as the antique tractor Garry gave me. It show that you “know” someone well. It also says a lot about you as in “really thoughtful.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nope, Not Pam May 19, 2022 / 12:57 pm

    The first book I remember reading was at age 10. My mum worked at a school and she took me to the library, they librarian asked me what I liked reading and I said I liked something scary. I think she thought I wouldn’t read the book, so she gave me Dracula.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen May 19, 2022 / 2:55 pm

      That’s pretty intense at the age of ten.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Nope, Not Pam May 20, 2022 / 2:50 am

        It was onto Watership Downs next 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 19, 2022 / 10:37 pm

      That would definitely be scary for a 20-year-old. Did you have nightmares after reading it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nope, Not Pam May 20, 2022 / 2:49 am

        I didn’t really understand it, but My mum said I thought it was odd someone could crawl down walls. We’re they like a snail?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Marleen May 19, 2022 / 1:37 pm

    I learned to read per se (versus learning letters and some associated concepts as a preschooler at home) at a private school that taught phonics with “ITA” in first grade with a transition in second grade — so I remember (among other books I don’t remember) some obscure story about a cowboy, which was not printed in normal English. But, when I switched to public education in third grade, I found a book in the school library that I loved. It was “The Secret Garden.” The avid readers in my family were an aunt (not by blood) and the youngest of her four children, one of her two daughters. That aunt became a teacher after I was an adult. She subsequently got a masters degree and became a librarian. The cousin works at a book store. That aunt gave me books as gifts, occasionally, and picked them well. I had an aunt in the other side of the family (while also not by blood) who gave me books sometimes, one of which was my first recipe book. But there was “The Witch of Blackbird Pond” that I recall, too. Pajamas was another favorite gift. I have given books, at times. I did have an aunt by blood in my dad’s family who was a teacher. There wasn’t a lot of talk about her loving reading itself, but she was significantly cultural (which involved reading while she was, additionally, a piano player who liked singing and taught me to sing pieces from The Sound of Music to set me up for enjoying musicals). My dad did not like reading much, but we did get the city paper. Of course I had a library card for the local community library. Who wouldn’t? And my dad was the one who took me there. He knew his way around that place. However, I didn’t take my kids to the library very often. We preferred the likes of Barnes and Noble (not as “gifts” mind you as I didn’t want to do like my mom did where necessities such as clothes were Christmas presents). Plus, I bought curricula through the mail. I have given books to my adult children, on rare occasion, as gifts. I have never liked comic books.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marleen May 19, 2022 / 1:37 pm

      I mean the old type comic books. I have enjoyed the funnies in the papers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen May 20, 2022 / 11:37 am

        In a similar realm with Descartes’ Error, I haven’t read this book but do agree with the author that it’s important to be aware of the reality per our circumstance as humans (and not to be so afraid to see what is that we proceed in denial). There are more details in both books I’m sure (I do know for sure with the one I read). I find the field fascinating. (I also wonder whether the apparent increase in crazies is one of the outcomes of our having polluted the physical environment of our natural biomes. That’s not covered in either book, that I know of — and certainly not in this presentation.) The why for this overarching interest of mine is that I have a mother who was a successful teacher[*] for decades, wanted to be (and was) involved in conservative politics (which was very much about morality at the time although she doesn’t seem to have noticed this), highlighted religion (in tandem with the conservative politics although my exposure to religion then had nothing to do with politics), but who doesn’t behave or think or reason in a way that adds up with all of that. My having been brought up in a milieu of reverence and learning, she doesn’t fit (but tries to appear so); my whole worldview was very much frustrated and challenged (thank God I wasn’t ruined while I was crippled temporally). Honestly, she doesn’t believe a goddamned thing, except that she’s supposed to be seen as in the category of good people — heaven help anyone who doesn’t unquestioningly see it that way or who attempts to show her any light or who she ascertains the world to treat as losers who may be at risk of not getting sustenance in life (she is a near embodiment of current right-wing politics except that she’s against the insurrection).

        [* I have to specify that she earned a degree in education. Today, some public schools will employ teachers who have no college coursework at all. One of the books on our built-in bookshelves flanking the living room fireplace showed that she was listed as among Who’s Who (used to be a big thing); perhaps an honor granted any woman attending college then?]

        Barbara Oakley’s book came out in 2007, this footage was taken in 2008.
        I point this out because she didn’t foresee the Trump era and our beyond.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen May 22, 2022 / 6:21 pm

          Alex Jones Spews BONKERS Male Genitalia Conspiracy Theory …

          Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen May 20, 2022 / 4:35 pm

        I should, perhaps, amend my list of books for giving. I didn’t, in fact, have my own children read the Narnia books (despite the outstanding meaning they had for me). Books I love for youngsters involve kids taking care of each other: The Boxcar Children and, something I’ve discovered subsequent to the years before they were grown (while the series began before they were grown up), A Series of Unfortunate Events.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen May 19, 2022 / 3:01 pm

      I learned, relatively recently, that my mom’s twin always liked reading historical fiction and nonfiction, plus had a bunch of books on writing grant proposals. She worked at a university in a research department and was on a board overseeing ethics. My dad’s other sister (not the one who was a teacher) was a nurse and, to this day, reads medical information and writes activist letters.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen May 20, 2022 / 12:04 am

      … has been banned because of promoting witchcraft and violence. Huh? What is shown instead are the consequences of gossiping, fear, and ignorance. The book dispels the notions of witchcraft using proper proof. Instead the book promotes hard work, good relationships, and education. I find the idea of banning this book to be ludicrous.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Maggie May 19, 2022 / 7:56 pm

    What a wonderful gift you gave your wife! She must have loved it. My grandmother also had the Reader’s Digest books. The Dick and Jane books were our classroom textbooks, so I read all of them, too. Thanks for joining us again this week!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango May 19, 2022 / 10:49 pm

      Yes, my wife did love that vintage Jane Austen collection.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Marleen May 19, 2022 / 10:59 pm

    I had some friends in California, when I lived in California, with this dynamic. She loved Jane Austen, and he bought her vintage copies of the books. They live in Indiana now. She was my natural childbirth instructor. The Bradley Method (not Lamaze); it was great learning with her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen May 20, 2022 / 12:06 am

      I’ve been watching a reality show that references Jane Austen from time to time. It’s called The Courtship. Any chance your wife is watching it? I haven’t figured out, yet, if there has been more than one season.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fandango May 20, 2022 / 1:03 pm

        Nope, she hasn’t watched it but I’ll let her know about it.


  6. Lauren May 20, 2022 / 1:21 am

    Thanks for joining in Fandango. I grew up with RD condensed books too. I agree that reading the Dick and Jane books were probably my first readers. I am sure you wife loved her thoughtful gift.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Sadje May 21, 2022 / 8:49 am

    My father had a lot of those RD condensed books too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Carol anne May 21, 2022 / 2:39 pm

    wow! I bet your wife was thrilled to get that set!
    I love reading, always have!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 21, 2022 / 11:03 pm

      She was very happy.


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