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Sun Feb 26, 2012, 05:20 PM

Just curious--did you grow up in a house full of various books

and magazines and newspapers? I did, mostly because my mother was a high school and middle school English teacher so there were books her class was reading at the time. Plus, she just plain loved to read so there were always books and magazines about. Not cluttered, but plenty of things to read always. She even had several boxes of books in the attic from her high school and college days and she always let me go up there and see if I found any of those books interesting. I would bring those down to read (Great Expectations, Gone With the Wind, Robinson Crusoe, etc.) and I saw her handwriting and the notes she made to herself in her literature classes as a student. And we went to the library regularly too since as far back as i can remember as a child. I was very lucky in this way.

It still always seems weird to walk into someone's home and see no books on the shelves whatsoever. No magazines folded over where someone is in the middle of reading an article. So unlike how I grew up, or my own home now.






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Response to Lex (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 05:32 PM

1. growing up we had lots of books, and, now grown, i still do.

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Response to Lex (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 05:41 PM

2. Not really - it was me who brought the books into the house (via library) and eventually, purchase.

My dad was not a reader at all, and my mom not much of one. They always wondered where I came from!

Not only books, but music - listening, then playing.

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Response to Lex (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 05:51 PM

3. We always had lots of books around

I had one uncle who always gave me a book as Christmas and birthday presents. I hated it at the time, especially when I was really young, but I have most of those books still and I'm thankful for the world that they opened to me.

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Response to Lex (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 06:42 PM

4. We always had them too.

My mom was a stay-at-home housewife, and she loved reading, especially novels. My father worked in a mill, and I never saw him read a book, but he was an avid newspaper and magazine reader. There are not a lot of books visible at my house (the same one I grew up in), but the bedrooms have built-in bookcases, as does the basement.

My mother read to us at bedtime every night from as far back as my memory goes. My mom told me that she got to the point where she hated Goldilocks and the Three Bears because I wanted to hear it every night. I remember we had a subscription to some young readers hardback books with several stories in each book. My favorite story was Penny and the Horse, and my sister's fav was The Man Who Never Washed His Dishes.

We also always went to the library when I got older. I loved our old library, in a grand old building with spiral staircase and that smell. I still feel like our new one is inferior, although I still go there all the time.

I cannot imagine what it would have been like if there were no books around me when I was growing up.

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Response to Lex (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 06:56 PM

5. I read whatever I could get my hands on ...

but when it came to newspapers/magazines, we were out in the rural area, so you had, essentially, two newspapers - 1st was the daily, which eventually was bought out by Scaife (Valley News Dispatch), and on Sunday you got the Pittsburgh Press.

Found in the basement some older books, including one that introduced me to Norse mythology (and other stories) ... the tale of Thor and Loki getting lost, and having to face challenges from some "hosts". Rather interesting.

But the library was about 5 miles away, so that was a luxury.

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Response to Lex (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 06:58 PM

6. I don't remember that we actually owned very many books, but we read

library books and a few magazines that my mother subscribed to. We had access to a small school library (in a 1 - 2 room rural schoolhouse), the bookmobile that came by every two weeks or so (I always checked out as many as they would let me have) and sometimes we would go to the big library in town. We were encouraged to read and got lots of practice reading to my dad, who was blind. He had great curiosity and interests, so by reading to him we were exposed to a lot of ideas that we might not ordinarily encounter.

When I had children, I bought books for them and read to them from the time they could sit up in my lap and listen. Their reading skills and comprehension were always several grades above their current grade levels. In turn, they have encouraged their children to read with similar results. My grandson who just turned 5 taught himself to read after my son and dil told him what sounds the letters make when they taught him the alphbet. He reads books on his own and is able to sound out some pretty difficult words.

A couple of years ago I bought a Kindle. Oh, happy day! To have access to thousands of books, newspapers and magazines right there at my fingertips, any time of the day or night, is definitely a luxury.

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Response to Lex (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 08:00 PM

7. Nope! Not unless you call....

Last edited Mon Feb 27, 2012, 05:04 PM - Edit history (1)

religious propaganda books, magazines and newspapers. Then yes I would have grown up in a house over-flowing.

It's a long sad story that ended long ago so I won't go into it. But I will say that even to this day, especially when I hear how others were encouraged to read actual books, magazines and newspapers, I feel cheated. At the same time, I'm glad that others were not stunted in the way my sister and I were and that's good to hear about!

I did sneak off to the library which was just up the street when I was old enough to walk there alone. But I basically started my real love for reading when I was a young married mother and I started with Harlequin romance novels then came true crime, then some more non-fiction. I eventually developed a love for fiction, mostly mystery and their subgenre cozy mysteries, suspense and a few westerns. I still do enjoy some non-fiction occasionally.

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Response to Little Star (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 10:57 AM

15. LS, you stole my childhood

The why's of why I feel cheated are too numerous to mention. Didn't even have a lot of religious junk - I had to memorize that from hearing it.

At 11 we moved into a house that had books in the bookcase - my very first experince with books and it was love at first sight. Robinson Crusoe will always be my best buddy...

In 4th grade, switched schools and the nuns "made" us go "way up" to the library thru the cemetary. What fun that was. Loved the books, the library and enjoyed doing book reports. My mother thought books were a waste of time and electricity.

rip mother

Lex, you know how some guys don't like to talk about their war experiences. For some of us, it's childhood.

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Response to fadedrose (Reply #15)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 01:07 PM

17. Yes Rose, your point to Lex is a good one. For some of us it's childhood....

Some parts of my childhood I wouldn't change for the world. Other parts, not so much.

My mother thought books were a waste of time and she thought education was too. She held the firm belief that armageddon would be upon us very soon and this wicked world would be no more. I now just accept that she was brainwashed and her neglect of such important things were due to that. I love her and feel sorry for her. Oh well....

I also loved doing book reports! Thank gawd for mandatory school for children! It saved me and gave me some skills I never would have got at home.

btw: I made reading a priority in my house and my grown children automatically did it too with my grandchildren. All's well that ends well.

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Response to Lex (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:11 PM

8. Oh yes, I come from a long line of people (going back at least to my

maternal great-grandmother) who simply must read before falling asleep.

My father always had tons and tons of books, one ton, mostly theology and church history, in his office at the church (he was a Lutheran pastor) and another couple of tons at home. He especially liked to buy the Time-Life series on science and American history, the Horizon books on world history, and the National Geographic books about nature, history, and anthropology.

Both my parents had been schoolteachers at one point, and the year that I was in kindergarten, I was sick a lot, so they taught me to read so that I could amuse myself. I never stopped.

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Response to Lex (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:12 PM

9. Non fiction in the bookcases. Magazines & newspapers everywhere. We were not big talkers in our

family. Going up to the cottage mostly meant sitting around reading... but in a nice cottage setting.

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Response to Lex (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 05:55 AM

10. We had a few books, but never enough.

I was often desperate for reading material, and I read everything I could get my hands on.

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Response to Lex (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 07:27 PM

11. I read from the age of 5, I have been told

but most of the "good" books were in my grandmother's house, where I lived off and on for many years.
She had all the classics of the time, I read every one.
I remember she had a gigantic Mirriam Webster dictionary on a stand and I used to spend hours looking up words.
I have the same kind of dictionary in my house today, 2nd edition, on a swivel oak stand, I cherish it.

In my mother's house was mostly Reader's Digest type books,
but I had easy access to the town library and was SO frustrated by their 3 book limit!

When my children were born, I read to them starting at 18 months, and they grew into avid readers.
I still consider that the most important gift I could have given them, and so do they.

My house today is overflowing with books in several rooms, plus on the Nook, plus hundreds of e-books on several discs.
No way will i live long enough to read them all, but I sure save time by not having to go to the library!

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Response to Lex (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 10:18 PM

12. We didn't have a whole lot of books

when I was growing up, but then in the 1950's people simply didn't own as many books as now.

My older brother belonged to the Science-Fiction Book Club back then, and I used to sneak the s-f books off his shelf to read. We did have a set of The Book House Books, which most people have never heard of, but were really quite a wonderful thing for that day. Volume 1 was basically nursery rhymes, Volume 2 simple stories and so on, until Volume 12 was fairly serious literature.

Once I learned to read, I got a library card, and in first grade I'd go to the library after school and take a later public bus home. This was in Utica, NY, the wonderful Carnegie Library that's still there. The library has remained an important part of my life ever since.

My mother was very good about reading to us, and I read to my kids from early infancy. Both of them are avid readers as adults.

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Response to Lex (Original post)


Response to Lex (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 10:50 AM

14. five people in the house. i was the only reader.

eating breakfast, i would have to read cereal box. i read. the only books were the occassional ones parents picked up, and my books. lots of books.

now i am in a family of four. we are all readers. our hosue is overflowing with books. books are much appreciated gifts. from the time kids were babies.

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Response to Lex (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 11:26 AM

16. I'm loving reading all your responses!



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