Barbara's Random Thoughts

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Another book meme

Maybe I'll just alternate reviews and book memes for the rest of the year. I have no idea where this came from, but it was in my saved drafts...

1. How old were you when you learned to read and who taught you?

I was somewhere around 3 years old. My mom taught me to read; she was all into the Teach Your Baby to Read book. The sight method, basically. No phonics for me. It’s actually a fascinating approach, based on the idea that reading comprehension is the first and easiest step in language acquisition. It’s always easier to learn to read another language than to speak it--so why can’t children learn to read before or as they are learning to talk? Anyway, it worked for me (like Hooked on Phonics! Only not!). I can’t remember not being able to read, and I was always reading far above my grade level.

2. Did you own any books as a child? If so, what’s the first one that you remember owning? If not, do you recall any of the first titles that you borrowed from the library?
I didn’t really get into owning books until later in grade school (Scholastic book clubs!) and then it got completely out of control in college. =) We were heavy library users in my family--I would always check out the maximum number on my card at both libraries (the local Ely library and the one on the military base where my dad worked).

These are the story books I remember my family owning--most of these are still around, somewhere in this house:
-Mouse Tales
I LOVED this book. There’s a story in it about a mouse who buys new feet when his current feet get tired and worn out. I thought that was hilarious. Our family copy got completely worn out. I finally tracked it down and re-bought it a few years ago.
-What Was That!
Looking at the title now, it bothers me that it's an exclamation mark instead of a question mark. I don't remember being so critical when I was a kid...
-Bedtime for Frances
Actually, any of the Frances books. I still remember her alphabet song: “U is for Underwear, down in the drier…”
-The Frog and Toad books
The story where Toad makes a to-do list and the first item on it is “Wake up”? Awesome.
-The Little Bear books
My favorite story was the one where Little Bear gets too cold playing in the snow and keeps coming inside to put on more clothes. When he's still not warm enough, Mother Bear recommends he wear his fur he takes off the snow pants, the jacket, the hat, etc. and plays outside quite happily in just his fur.

3. What’s the first book that you bought with your own money?
I really can’t remember--it was probably something from a Scholastic book club. Maybe The BFG? I remember getting “book tokens” from the Ely library for their summer reading program, but I don’t remember which books I spent them on. I do remember The TV Kid and Tom’s Midnight Garden being some of the first books that were my very own (and not just family-owned). But those were actual awards for the summer reading program, rather than books I picked out myself.

4. Were you a re-reader as a child? If so, which book did you re-read most often?
Not really--and I’m still not. There are books that I love and go back to for certain passages, but I always get caught up in how many more books there are to read. There are always more books to read! I did re-read a lot of Roald Dahl, who was probably my first favorite author.

5. What’s the first adult book that captured your interest and how old were you when you read it?
I remember trying to read Watership Down at the age of 9 or 10. Because it was about bunnies! I thought it was the most boring thing ever and never made it very far. So I guess it didn’t capture my interest. I read a ton of adult books on my own in junior high--Lord of the Flies, Catcher in the Rye...stuff I’d heard of and felt like I should read because it was “important.” I actually loved Lord of the Flies. If you can say that about Lord of the Flies. I think I was 13 when I read it.

6. Are there children’s books that you passed by as a child that you have learned to love as an adult? Which ones?
-The Phantom Tollbooth (“It goes without saying.”)
-The Chronicles of Prydain

I read The Secret Garden and Heidi and A Little Princess when I was younger, but re-read them as an adult and loved them so much more--there was so much I didn’t remember.

Bonus Question: Are there books you remember reading as a child that you either can’t find now or can’t remember the title?
There was a book about a little girl growing up in Africa that I remember vividly. No idea what it was called.

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| posted by Barbara | 4:10 AM