The pull of the story

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #66: Savour

This week, let’s consider what we savour.

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A good story. A good book. I’ve always savored those moments – from the days of a flashlight under the covers late at night…to now…when my eyes close despite the glow of the bedside lamp.

Page corners folded. Neon post-it flags stuck in places to return to. Aha! sentences marked in pencil.

My favorites? The ones with characters who mirror my hopes…fears…life challenges. Or my possibilities…the “what ifs”…

From an early age, I looked forward to stories. An alternate universe of adventure I could only dream about as a young girl. It was unheard of to strive for independence as a boy would…well, except for Nancy Drew. She had remarkable success. It was exhilarating.

Years later, my chosen books lengthened. The topics expanded.

Elizabeth Berg emerged as one of my favorite authors. I met her at several book signings when she lived in the northeast. Her stories are treasures to savor, but one in particular –  The Pull of the Moon – struck a chord like no other. It is one of the few books I have read multiple times. The main character – Nan – writes letters to her husband while she’s on a solo road trip…as she explores what it means to age. Looking forward and looking back. As she turns 50. The book is a journal of sorts.

A powerful story.

 

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Candid

Inspired by Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge: Candid (human or animal)

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When you’re a six year old big sister, it’s fun to read to your 1 year old little brother. Complete with distinctive voices for all the book’s characters, animals included.

This reading thing is a big deal, especially at six.

And it’s one activity an active little brother will sit still for.

1988

 

And when your little brother is 2 years old, both of you can hide under the dining room table…for a perfect cozy story time.

1990

 

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Books & Paper

Inspired by Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Books and Paper

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Bookshelf
Bookshelf of Book Survivors – Front Rows

 

Books have been an indispensable part of my life – and my life story – since the days of Dick and Jane. The classic first grade learn-how-to-read “Primer” of the 1950s.

After I learned to read, there was no stopping me. A flashlight under the covers at night until I finished a chapter…or two.

Books and stories were often my escape hatch from real life. The Scholastic Book Club in grammar school supplied countless thin paperback story books that multiplied on my shelves at home. Hardcover Nancy Drew mysteries soon followed.

I was fascinated by the biographies of “famous people” at the school library. Of course I believed they were all true depictions of historically significant Americans. However, thinking back, I realize that women and non-white “famous people” were drastically underrepresented.  Hopefully that is changing.

As I went through high school, I discovered paperback novels. The thicker the better. In college, I was a member of the Doubleday Book Club for several years – a mail order monthly deal. Later…the actual Book of the Month Club. Vacations always included long stops browsing at local bookstores.

A few books from my childhood survived the drastic downsizing-of-hundreds-of-books that took place 3 years ago when we sold our home. Letting go of books was probably the most difficult “letting go” I ever did.

Despite the massive book purging, I still needed to buy a bookshelf for condo life. There were just too many books I had to keep! They are shelved two deep. In no particular order. After taking the photo for this challenge, I realized I should organize them by subject or author or something. They represent my life stages…all jumbled together.

Scaling down the sheer volume when we moved forced some tough decisions. It is interesting to notice which ones made the cut. They used to be spread out all over the house in different places. Now all in one room…crammed together as if competing for an important spot.

I have read most of them, but there are many I look forward to starting. The anticipation is still exciting.

The only book I have bought since we moved here was Becoming by Michelle Obama.

Otherwise I visit the local library.

 

age 14 book
On vacation – age 14