Saturday, January 5, 2013

Just About Books

I have spent a lot of time with my books shelves this week. I have to admit the first love in my life has always been books. My first memories are of sitting with my mother as she read Little Women at night waiting for my Dad to get home from work. My Great-Grandmother's favorite book was Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter. She told me she read it once a year.

My grand mother's favorite book was Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter. I searched for it for years when I was young and then when I was about 13 or so I found it and I read it with such interest and it too became one of my favorites.

My Mom's favorite books were things like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and of course Little Women and any thing written by Mary Stewart. 
I was going through my bookshelves and I have lots of old friends that have been on my book shelves that I have not visited in awhile. Always being lured by new authors and new books. I decided that since this year, I won't have time to visit the library as in the past this might be a good year to just visit my own book shelves. To once again take the time to visit the books that have shaped my life.

My first book that I read for January was North and South by Elisabeth Gaskill. It is nothing like the movie and I love the movie. They did some updating for the movie. The story in the book is very sweet and though very sad, it is a interesting way to look at how authors in the 19th Century viewed life. Since Elisabeth Gaskill wrote for Charles Dickens I thought she was a good one to read as I am still reading Bleak House. I never can just read one book at a time. I work the best with three going on in my head.

I picked up Christy yesterday off my shelf by Catherine Marshall. As I started reading it I was drawn in and I think what I love about Christy is the first time I read it I was about 12 years old. My Mom had died, my Dad had remarried. I had went from being the oldest of three to the second of six. My Dad got the bright idea that to make this disjointed, miserable bunch of people into a family would be to take a cross county road trip. He borrowed his sisters station wagon and away we went. We took the famous Route 66 and we stopped at every gift shop, every rattlesnake pit you name it. We even made it into some backwoods place where Dad tried to find a place to buy Moonshine. We had lots of adventures on that trip. Lots of adventures.

Our car was loaded down with bows and arrows, tomahawks, Indian headdresses. Even a set of longhorn horns. In one of those gift shops I was walking around looking and there on a revolving, metal book rack was the book Christy in paperback. I picked it up and read the back. I went to the counter and bought it and walked out to the car and got in and began reading a book that would change my life.

It put so many things into perspective, while my life was different from most people's at that time, in Christy that book gave me hope, it showed me how that no matter what circumstances you might find yourself, you can always change it. To always be looking around you at beauty that is all around if you just train yourself to see it. So many of the phrases and words in that book were words I heard all of my life. Catherine Marshall wrote a book that fed my soul.

When I read it for the first time, Christy was 19 and she seemed so old, then the next time I read it, I was closer but she was still older. This time when I started reading it I am older now than my favorite character Alice Henderson. When I was having babies I loved Fairlight Spencer. I love books that  each time I read it I am in a different place and the different people can speak to a different me.

So hopefully this year, I can introduce you to some of my old friends. When my daughter Em's was about 15 I decided that that year we were going to visit all of my friends together. So I made a list and for one year, I would read out loud to her in the afternoon we would share books together. She still says the worst trick I played on her was the chapter in Anne of Green Gables called,
"The Reaper Whose Name is Death."  I didn't tell her maybe I should have warned her, but I think a really good writer is someone who can write and you can still feel and remember that place you read a certain passage in a book.

I love reading and I just don't want to get so busy that I forget to take  time to enjoy the beauty of the written word.

Have a wonderful weekend, thanks for stopping by today, for sharing in my love of books.



Jacque. said...

oh Kim...I am very excited to go on this journey of revisiting your favorite reads! I have not read many of those you mentioned, so your journey will introduce me to books that I may just find myself reading. You have such a fresh perspective...again, I am looking forward to reading your words. xo

Meg said...

I always feel kind of weird if I haven't read a book in awhile. 2011 was like that. I hadn't been to the library hardly at all, and I hadn't read much at all, and I just felt so out of it. So last year and this year so far I have been reading lots and it's been good (even though they're all how to's and food books). I never knew you went on a road trip like that. Was it fun, or was it terrible? :)

Gail said...

So many of these are my favorites too. Girl of The Limberlost, Anne of Green Gables, and Christy.

Christine said...

Your favorites are mine too and on the shelf waiting to be re-read.
You need to do a post or more about that road trip - it sounds wonderfully crazy and exciting!
God bless

Pom Pom said...

I read Christy when I was about the same age and I was completely drawn in. I loved it, but your description would make Catherine Marshall smile.
I just ordered Scottish Chiefs on my Kindle. Yay! Did I tell you that our oldest son is learning to play the bagpipes? He saved his money and bought a nice set of pipes and now he has to get good enough to dress up like the other bagpipers!
One more day and back to work for me. Drat. I'm having so much fun at home!

Julia said...

I love books too and I have some all over the house but my taste has changed as I grew older. I used to love detective novels because that's what was around our house when I grew up. I read lots of classic books from the library as we couldn't afford all the books I was reading.

Now I love to read books that teaches something about loving ourselves and others, self help, devotional, anything that feeds my spirit and soul and gives me happiness and knowledge.

Anne of green Gable was a favourite series of mine. I remember trying to get one of my daughters interested in reading Anne of Green Gable and she was not interested so I read her one passage about when Anne used Horse Liniment by mistake in her baking and she was mortified when she served a piece of her cake to a neighbour. My daughter got so interested from then on that she read the whole series. Books are still a big part of her life and also her family.

I love to read about your unusual adventures of when you were young. You have so many interesting little stories to tell. They are all part of the fabric of your life.

Take care,

TexWisGirl said...

i really don't read much these days. but i did as a young girl. loved your 'christy' story.

the photo of the fog and tree w/ the fence was beautiful!

Sue said...

I worked on my book shelves today, unpacking my books and trying to decide which ones i wanted to reread this year. I used to be an avid reader, but since I have found blogging it seems to have cut into some of my reading I am looking forward to you introducing some of your friends this year.
Enjoy your weekend.

Miss Debbie said...

I loved "Little Women" and the "Little House" books. I always liked biographies because they were about real people. Lately, I've been reading in spurts.I will read fervently for a while and then I will go months without even picking up a book! Not sure how you read three books at once...I have a hard enough time with one!! :-)

Kim said...

Well that sounds like quite a road trip, and quite a book. I'm in a little reading spurt lately.

camp and cottage living said...

I've never read 'Scottish cheifs', but have all the rest.
I, like your mother, have read all of Mary Stewarts books. I've even collected a few, along with all of Gene Stratton Porter.
You've inspired me to revisit my old classics, to heck with the new books!

Debbie said...

I'm not a reader Kim, I always feel like I am missing much! Pretty pictures

Kessie said...

Yikes! You sprang that chapter on her without warning? It seemed like you warned me. Or maybe I read the chapter list myself and wrung the spoiler out of you. I was prepared, anyway, but it was still sad as heck.

I just love talking about books.

GretchenJoanna said...

All those photos of orange trees are what I was paying attention to in this post. :-) They remind me of my father's orchards....I think you are in the Central Valley where I grew up, but I don't think you grow oranges commercially, or do you? I don't see groves in your pictures....

Simple Home said...

We think alike, my friend :) I've been thinking of reading Christy again too! I love that book. I have several books by Katharine Marshall, and have enjoyed them all, but the others are inspirational books. I'm thinking that Christy was her only novel, but I'm not sure about that. Do you know of any others?

Thistle Cove Farm said...

We love so many of the same books; they're friends, aren't they?

Alica said...

Oh Kim, I loved Christy too, and the Anne of Green Gables series was one of my favorites! I'm sad that my daughter doesn't enjoy them, but I'm holding out hope that someday she will! I'm curious was that road trip?! :)

Patrice said...

I loved Girl of the Limberlost! I also loved Anne of Green Gables, Christy, Little Women, North and South, and Bleak House.You got me with a Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I don't know that one.

When I first read Christy, I wanted to marry Dr. McNeal. :) When I was older, I really identified with Fairlight Spencer. So funny! We have quite similar taste in books.

I just started watching Downton Abbey. I'm hooked!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

I have never read Christy. I will have to make a trip to the library. You have me wishing I could stay home from work and dive right into it.

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

Little Women ... that was a favorite of mine. I haven't re-read Christy in quite a while ... I need to do that one of these days. I have to admit that I never read Anne of Green Gables.

Madonna said...

I also love books and have tons of them here at the house. Every room in the house has a bookcase or 2. My grandmother used to fuss at me for having so many books but I told her some of them were such friends you can't get rid of them. I have a few favorites that I read at least once a year or more, such as the Anne of Green Gable series. I love all of Catherine Marshall's books. She was so inspiring.