My early reading years


Just the other day I was thinking about some of my favorite books as a child and what it said about me that two were about characters that had been orphaned/abandoned finding a new home and someone who loved them, of those two, one was about tending a garden, and the third was about children who ran away from home.

In any case, the joy of this story is that I still have copies of these books. Not the well worn much loved original copies, but new copies I excitedly ordered from Amazon in anticipation of my first grandchild.

They are, in no particular order:



From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Corduroy is the sweet, illustrated story of a lost Teddy Bear missing both a family and a button.

Mandy is the story of an orphan girl who stumbles upon an abandoned secret garden and brings it back to life.

And From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwieler is the tale of a great mystery and adventure had by a brother and sister who run away and live, for a time, a the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I read them all countless times and have enjoyed revisiting them again since.

Thinking of books reminds me of how my maternal grandmother used to encourage reading by inviting us to track the books we read over summer vacation and paid us a dime for every book we read. It was a lovely tradition and a great incentive until I was mature enough to read on my own simply for the pure joy and love of a good book.

I read to all my children when they were young, and watched as at one time each one of them would devour books as fast as I could provide them, but then, one by one, got busy or distracted by other things.

As they’ve grown up, it’s been a joy to watch as each one of them has turned back reading again. Some intermittently and each in varying degrees and genres. I have great hope that the love of reading and learning will never leave them entirely, even through various stages of life.

Among other of my sweetest memories is of when my second son left to serve a two-year mission in England. He left a stack of books on the desk in his room and ask that I share them with his then best friend. I noticed that all but one had been books I had introduced to him. That made my mother heart grateful for the love of a good book.

[Day 22 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]

Don’t bother me, I’m reading

I’ve been putting off reading Ender’s Game. You know, because everybody’s read it already. It’s on my to-read list. I was just saving it for later. But now there’s a movie coming out I need to hurry up and read it already. Except that there is no time. I’ve had it since last week but I couldn’t start it because I was involved in a ginormous project at work and knew better than to start it before the deadline. Then I needed to scrub toilets and wash clothes and towels and clean the kitchen sink.

And stuff.

So I started it last night. Zack, remembering all the Harry Potter books I read in a day, said, “I’ll bet you’ll finish it by morning. But I had a meeting with the big boss today and wanted to be at least semi-conscious for it so I did not stay up all night. I didn’t even read it the three times I woke up in the middle of the night because that would have required light and also would have defeated my purpose of at least pretending I was sleeping. So I thought I would read it this morning. At least a little. But then everybody needs stuff. Like a ride to school. Then a ride home from school because I’m sick. And then something to eat which I can’t fix myself because I’m sick. And then my backpack which I left at home when I came home to do my own laundry thankyouverymuch. Normally it might be toobadsosad on the backpack except that I support students who study and work hard at school. So I drove the backpack up to BYU only to have my kid tell me the backpack I brought was his brother’s (the one who came home from school sick). And by the time that was all over it was time to get ready for work.

It’s only 7:50 and I’m so tired I’ll likely fall asleep, but you’ll have to excuse me. I’m off to read anyway..