Book Talk

Books and butterflies

Maggie continues Throwback Thursday with questions about our family reading habits.

1. Who were the readers in your family?

My family consisted of my parents and me, and we all loved to read. I don’t know if my extended family were readers because we hardly saw any of them except for my dad’s parents. I don’t remember that they read anything but the newspaper.

2. Were there some people who did not like to read or could not read?

Probably, but I don’t actually know. I say it’s likely though because there are loads of folks who never read for pleasure.

3. Did your family subscribe to the newspaper?

Yep. My dad was a huge fan of the NYT, even after we left the East Coast. We also had the local papers ~ the Chicago Tribune in Illinois (though I secretly read the Sun-Times at work) and the LA Times out here in Southern Cal.

4. If you did get the paper, was your Sunday newspaper considered special? What part did you enjoy?

Yes. Early on I liked cartoons, then later on I read the lifestyle and arts sections and also tried to do the NYT Sunday crossword puzzle. Unfortunately, I was not interested in current events or politics until much later.

5. Did your home have books strewn around? Hardbacks or paperbacks?

We had loads of books of all kinds… fiction, biography, self-help, cooking, poetry, etc.

bears book

6. Did you frequent the library at school?

Yep, especially in high school.

7. How about the local community library? Did you have a library card?

My mom took me to the library all the time and I’ve always had a card… though I don’t actually remember having one during the 4 years we lived in Chicago. I bought loads of romance novels during that period.

8. What was the first book you remember reading?

The first book I remember reading by myself was Arty the Smarty. It was about a rebel fish.

9. Did you have a collection of books (Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Happy Hollisters, etc?)

I had Little House books and the Bobbsey Twins collection, and when I was around 9 I became obsessed with stories about dogs.

Rory lily dogs
Rory and Lily taken by Sam

10. Did you read comic books? If so, what titles?


11. Did you end up a bookworm, a casual reader, or someone who read only when required?

I read constantly and always have.

12. Is there a book from your childhood you would like to read again? If so, what book?

I occasionally reread The Velveteen Rabbit.

13. What book or books have been extremely meaningful or influential in your life?

The Velveteen Rabbit was pretty meaningful to me with its themes of love, loss, reality, and feeling like an outcast. Also, Harriet the Spy had an outcast theme, which I related to. But the problem with these books is that they all have happy endings where the protagonist ultimately finds a peer group who accepts him/her. I didn’t find one until I was 50 years old and spent the preceding years wondering what the hell was wrong with me that I couldn’t have friends like the book characters did.

Woman phone text bed night

BONUS QUESTION: What book(s) do you frequently gift to others? Why?

I give people what they like. Gifts shouldn’t be about the giver ~ I learned this from my children when they weren’t especially thrilled with gifts I bought for them that I thought were cute. I began to put myself in the mind of the recipient instead. I’ll get a biography of an artist someone likes, or a Stephen King book for a horror fan friend. I buy the grands books about topics they’re currently interested in, such as Cookie Monster and unicorns.

Books are awesome gifts for readers!

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

9 responses to “Book Talk

  1. My brother is the odd one out in my family—he’s never liked to read, and I’m not sure how one even begins to go about living without reading.

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  2. The Velveteen Rabbit is one of my favorites. When we were expecting my youngest granddaughter, we asked everyone to bring a favorite book to the shower. She was born with a library already in place. Thanks for participating again this week, Paula.

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  3. Thanks for joining in Paula. Velveteen Rabbit is a true classic. I have gifted it to new parents also. I understand the problem with books too often having a happy ending to all problems. It can set up a child with unrealistic expectations.

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  4. I read a lot more screenless things before. I think the immediacy of screen material has ruined my reward center. I used to be able to immerse myself in printed material. Now I flit from Kindle to web page and back. I miss wanting to spend hours with a book, just a book. Maybe it will come back to me.

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