The Joy of Reading
Mark Twain and Other Authors
Mark Twain was a big part of my tweens. I read Huckleberry Finn with a flashlight after the rest of the family were in bed. It was a frightening experience. The vivid description is something I recall to this day. Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) made wonderful commentaries on the world he lived in.
Many people want to ban books like Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer by Mark Train (Samuel Clemens) but they introduced me to life in a world I could never know. I was young when I read these books and did not know anyone who wanted to slant them for me. I read them with an open mind and a youthful point of view. They were an early influence that shaped my view of race relations and how things should not be done just as Charles Dickens gave me a window into the life of the poor during the Industrial Revolution in London, England during the 1860’s. I have to say honestly that I hated Great Expectations because it was dark and I really never got into it. However, I absorbed A Tale of Two Cities, and Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy is a wonderful historical novel that was not quite a romance in the style we have today but it was wonderful. I loved Czardas, the epic tale of a Hungarian family before WWI by Diane Pearson.
Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain
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Reading is One of the Joys of My Life
Reading is one of the great joys of my life. I was a child during the 1950’s when television first appeared and LOVED the Mickey Mouse Show. I was four or five years old and I watched Jiminy Cricket every day. I believe that the time I spent watching this program assisted me and got me started on a life time love affair with words.
Books Are Movies In My Head
By the time I started to school in the first grade I was ready to read. My first readers were titled, Tip, Tip and Mitten, and Fun with Dick and Jane. Tip was a puppy and Mitten was a kitten. Dick and Jane were the children of a family who lived with these pets.
From the moment I was able to put letters into words, movies played in my head. I have always visualized the words I read. When I read the words are assimilated in my mind in a visual medium. I do not know how it happens but I literally see the image the word projects. Literally, I have movies in my head. I have always had movies in my head. Some of the most memorable movies I ever saw were created in my mind while I was reading.
Many people denigrate escapist reading, but I knew I was reading to escape many years ago. I was a poor child in South Texas with a hunger to learn more about the world. Books were my friend. I was reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales when I was nine or ten right along side of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. I graduated to Nancy Drew Mysteries, Hardy Boy Mysteries, and Noel Streatfield’s shoe books. Julie Campbell gave me many hours of pleasure with the Trixie Belden mystery series. Walter Farley blessed me with The Black Stallion, The Black Stallion and Satan, and and many more books in this series.
Historical romance entered my life when I was about twenty years old. That was when I found These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer. This was a love affair that lasted a lifetime. I have fifty year old copies of the Heyer historical romances that no amount of money could replace. In my opinion Georgette Heyer is equal to Jane Austin in historical romance. She filled my young life with pleasure.
I could go on and on with the loves of my life. Joan Smith, Catherine Fellows, Sylvia Thorpe, Jane Austin, Georgette Heyer...but the truth is that reading is a hobby that will educate you as well as give you pleasure. It is a learning experience and one that will last a life time.
I Am a Reader!
Reading the Bible is especially important. I love reading the Bible in the King James Version. I know that many people cannot understand the language, but it is well worth the learning. The King James Version is filled with beautiful poetry that cannot be duplicated in other more contemporary versions. Modern versions are great for establishing the exact meaning of a passage in modern English but they lack the beauty of the King James Version.
I believe I am one among many who find that words are old friends and can be trusted to stay the course. I am a reader!
Mickey Mouse Club
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