Monday, November 20, 2006

Early Reading Memories Meme

Yes! Another meme! And a nice bookwormish one at that. Thank you to Faith at Dumb Ox Acadamy for tagging me.

1. How old were you when you learned to read and who taught you?

Apparently I had started reading by the time I was two, and was reading fluently at three. Mostly I taught myself. My mother taught me the alphabet, then I insisted that she must follow along with her finger as she read to me from the Ladybird Keywords books - familiar early reading fare for my generation in the UK, and the same books I used to teach Angel (Star preferred their newer, Read With Me books). From there on I just picked it up by osmosis.

2. Did you own any books as a child? If so, what’s the first one that you remember owning? If not, do you recall any of the first titles that you borrowed from the library?

Many, many books. My dad was not a reader, but my mother was so there were always a lot of books around (scaling down her library is our current decluttering task - mother dear, just how many commentaries on Matthew's Gospel can one person need?). One book I still have is a Faber Book of Children's Stories, which the inscription says was given to me for my fourth birthday. Other early books I remember are Enid Blyton's Noddy books and Winnie the Pooh. My mother has old leather bound copies of the Pooh books and A.A.Milne's children's poems including a couple of first editions that used to belong to her aunt and uncle, and I remember Auntie reading to me from them.

3. What’s the first book that you bought with your own money?

I don't remember any specific books I bought, but I can remember when I was six or seven saving all my pocket money to buy books. At sixpence a week (pre-decimal coinage) it took me four or five weeks to save enough for a Puffin paperback, which in those days cost either two shillings or half a crown (two shillings and sixpence).

4. Were you a re-reader as a child? If so, which book did you re-read most often?

Oh yes, a constant re-reader! Favourites were C.S.Lewis's Narnia books (though I disliked The Last Battle so never re-read that one), Elinor Brent Dyer's Chalet School series, historical fiction by Geoffrey Trease and Henry Treece, E Nesbit, and Noel Streatfeild, the Little House books and Hugh Lofting's Doctor Dolittle.

5. What’s the first adult book that captured your interest and how old were you when you read it?

I can't remember! I know I read The Lord of the Rings when I was fifteen and loved it, but was certainly reading adult books before that. Another book that caught my imagination was Tolstoy's War and Peace. My interest was piqued by the BBC's 1972 serialisation, so I think I must have read that before LOTR.

6. Are there children’s books that you passed by as a child that you have learned to love as an adult? Which ones?

I never enjoyed The Wind in the Willows as a child, but grew to appreciate it through reading to Angel. Although I read - and loved - Anne of Green Gables, I only discovered there were sequels a few years ago, which led to a fun reading binge.

Now for the tagging bit ... Mary G, Karen, Jenn, Jennifer and Elizabeth/Doris. Over to you!


Karen E. said...

Thanks for the tag, Kathryn -- I'll do it soon! :-)

Jennifer said...

Ooh - just saw the tag this morning! These are quite interesting questions, good memory sparkers. Thanks!

JennGM said...

Trying to catch up on some blog reading...I'm about 3 weeks behind. Thanks for the tag...I'll get to work.