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.]

6 thoughts on “My early reading years

  1. Mandy is one of my favorite childhood books also. I still have the copy my parents gave me when I was eight.

    • I love that you still have your childhood copy. I no longer do, but I still remember the cover. It was a white, embossed page overlay with an oval cutout over a lovely and colorful illustration of the garden.

  2. I love reading your blog! Reading is such a wonderful way of exploring the world! You are such a good Mama!! 🙂

  3. Your post was a joy to read. I know those books well. I read books about large families with many siblings as a child. That could be a reflection of being raised, almost, as an only child.

    • Thank you. I think it would make for an interesting study to delve into the possible reasons we favor certain books at various stages of our lives.

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