“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”

Oh, spring, where have you gone? Last night was winter, and today is only 52°. The sun is warm through the doors and windows but not enough to make being outside on the deck inviting. I got cold when I was filling the bird feeders this morning. Even the house feels chilly. The heat turned itself on early this morning which meant it was lower than 62° in here. No wonder I slept in under the warmth of my down comforter.

This is a new week, and I have high hopes it will be a good week. It’s my Pollyanna moment.

When I was in high school, I took four years of Latin. I have no idea why, but I actually liked it. The Aeneid, my fourth year text, was my favorite. I still remember the first line, ” Arma virumque cano.” I sing of arms and of a man. I think the story appealed to me because I loved all the tall tales, stories of people like Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed and Pecos Bill. I can still see in my mind’s eye the illustration of Pecos Bill riding that cyclone. In my library those tall tale books were on a short shelf to the left of the door. I used to sit on the carpet and look through them and read a few tales before I’d choose the books to take home. I think I read all of the books from that section.

I never read any of the science books in my library. They were in the shelves in front of the windows. I did read some of the biographies of scientists like Madame Curie, but the actual science itself never interested me. I loved mysteries and historical fiction, though, when I was little, I didn’t know that’s you called it. My favorite of all was Johnny Tremain. It took place in Boston so the novel felt personal for me, and I could actually visit the houses of characters like Paul Revere. It made the story real to me. I remember the horror I felt when Johnny spilled hot silver on his hand.

That book led me to read more stories about the Revolutionary War. I think that’s what books are meant to do. They take you to one place which leads to another and another and on and on. It’s like a family tree filled with the names of books on branch after branch.

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16 Comments on ““There is no friend as loyal as a book.””

  1. Bob Says:

    I have always loved books. I was always a reader. I got my first taste of the adventure of aviation by reading every book by Ernest K. Gann. He wrote the novel that was made into the first disaster movie, “The High and The Mighty”. His memoir “Fate is the Hunter” was the book that started me on my love of airplanes. I loved to read the novels of Leon Uris and Herman Wouk among others while in High School. Like you I never read science books except for ones on aeronautics or space exploration. Lately I have been reading the biographies of Steve Jobs and Einstein.

    Latin is really not a dead language but lives on in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and the other romance languages. SInce the Catholic church ditched the Latin mass the only reason to study Latin is to get a leg up on the romance languages.

    Winter won’t come back to these parts until November.

    • katry Says:

      We are due to have another cold night tonight. My bedroom window had been ope for a few days but has since been closed-too cold.

      I never read the book but the movie of The High and the Mighty was a great one. I have also read all of Uris and Wouk.

      I haven’t read biographies in a while. I stay with fiction mostly.

      Also, in English, Latin prefixes and suffixes give us a leg up on understanding the meanings of unknown words. I was great in vocabulary in high school because of my Latin.

      I’m still waiting for spring!

      • Bob Says:

        Since buying my new iPad I have switched to E-books. I love the ability to read several at once and not get a hernia carrying them around. I also like the ability to change the size of the text, change to night mode and other abilities in iBooks. I didn’t know that Latin had any influence on English. Maybe I should say American English.

  2. olof1 Says:

    It’s so fun because 52 is spring temperatures up here 🙂 🙂 🙂 But we reached 59 today, still it felt rather cold because there was a strong wind the entire day. I only have one radiator going now and it’s mostly cold because I use the stove in the kitchen in the evenings.

    Yes what would life be like without books? I mostly went through books with natural science when I went to the library. Thankfully there were lots of kids living in our apartment building so I sort of inherited all other kind of books from them. I must have been the only kid in my age that actually read a lot because I think I got all the older kids books 🙂 🙂

    I loved reading about explorers that walked through the forests in Africa or sailors sailing around the world. I could see myself as one of the members in those trips 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      You are warmer than we are. We are 53° right now. and it will get colder once the sun goes down.

      My childhood is totally connected with reading. I always had a book going, and that hasn’t really changed. In the Peace Corps I read all the time, not having a radio and a TV made books even more valuable. I love to read still.

      I’ll go with you on your trip. I have always wanted to live in the days of exploration!

      Enjoy your evening and your tea!

  3. Birgit Says:

    “Oh, spring, where have you gone?”
    Now it’s here !!! 😉
    72° – mostly sunny 🙂

    And thanks for the Mimi Farina – remembrance.
    Tomorrow is a good time to listen to her songs again.

    • katry Says:

      I’m glad someone somewhere is enjoying spring. 72° is perfect! I’d never complain if every day were like that!

      You are welcome for the Mimi. I fear she has been forgotten by many.

  4. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I took two years of Latin in high school because I needed it for college. We read Caesar’s Gallic Wars. The Aeneid was given to me as a freshman English oral book report assignment. I had read the Illiad and the Odyssey and found the Aeneid just too boring. I had a lovely edition of it to read from, too, but it didn’t help. I’m afraid I faked most of that book report. 🙂

    I read most of the science books in my library. There are a couple that I still remember with fondness because they were so far ahead of the times or so beautifully written. There was one on exobiology long before anyone thought there would be a need for that field. I even read Scientific American from 7th grade on even though at the beginning I mostly understood only the prepositions. 🙂 It’s easier now but probably because modern scientists are better at communicating with the general public.

    Sunny and cool here. I’m still doing laundry because I forgot to turn the dryer on after I loaded it yesterday. :/
    Enjoy the day!

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I read the Aeneid in Latin! It was slow going but we finished it by the end of the year. It had lots of unknow vocabulary words, but I had my trusty English-Latin dictionary.

      Nope, I still have no real interest in science though I do read the science articles in the Smithsonian when it comes.

      I have done that-forgotten to turn on the dryer, but not this time. Finished my laundry yesterday.

      When I changed my bed on Friday, I found the two socks I was missing so I could reacquaint the two odd socks sitting on my dryer downstairs with their counterparts.The two newly risen socks were caught in the corner of the fitted sheet, and I just folded them in.

  5. Zoey & Me Says:

    Latin I was the only course I flunked in High School. The following year I got a C in Spanish and some has stayed with me but never took a language in College. I was a young avid reader and read everything. Today I lean to politics and can’t get enough news. I watched the White House Correspondence Dinner last night and LMAO. Kimmel was really great; Obama scored a few points. Very funny show.

    • katry Says:

      I alos took French in HS and then Spanish in college. On one of my college tests I had words from all 3 languages. My prof circled them and identitfied the language. I laughed.

      I would have enjoyed Kimmel.

  6. katry Says:

    The influence of Latin is in English itself regardless of country. An example would be the Latin prefix co- which means together like co-author. Trans- means across like transmit (mit is send in Latin so trans + mit means send across). Root words too owe their origin to Latin. -dict- means to say like diction or predict (pre is also from Latin and means before so if you predict you say it before it happens). Knowing Latin gave me the abitlity to figure out the meaning of words.

    • Bob Says:

      Thanks, I strive to learn something new daily.

      • katry Says:

        You are very welcome. I too try to learn something new but half the time it just doesn’t stay in my head as long as it used to.

  7. sprite Says:

    I like the way you put that in the last paragraph. Lovely and apt imagery.

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