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

Today is cloudy and chilly but the weekend will be spectacular. I suspect the fortuitous weather report will have the cape lined with cars and tourists for the weekend. The water is still too cold for swimming, but the sand and sun will draw the crowds to the beaches. My deck is a mess with pollen and stuff from the trees, but today is cool enough for cleaning and getting ready to spend the next two days outside.

Today is garden shop day. I only need about four or five flowers for the front garden, but I need several for the deck pots. I also need herbs for the garden and for the flower boxes on the deck. The last on my list is one more vegetable for my small raised garden. This is one of my favorite days: when I wander the aisles of the garden shop. All self-restraint seems to disappear. My cart overflows, and I wonder if I’ve bought enough.

I am 100 pages from finishing my book: A Dark Dividing by Sarah Rayne. I started it on Wednesday and have been reading every spare moment since. My errands were more of an annoyance than usual knowing that my book was sitting at home waiting. If today weren’t flower day, I wouldn’t move off the couch until I’d finished. I love finding a book difficult to put down.

When I was really little, my mother read the Golden Books to me. She thought me the smartest of all children because when I was two I could identify all the animals circling the back cover. She told me my favorite story was Chicken Little. I still have a special place in my heart for Henny Penny, and I will always remember Foxy Locky, Goosey Loosey, Turkey Lurkey and Ducky Lucky. They are such wonderful names. It makes me laugh a bit thinking about my favorite childhood book and how the main character thinks the sky is falling. It is no wonder I have always loved science fiction. That Foxy Locky eats most of the characters seems a bit chilling, but I guess it never scared me as Henny Penny, my heroine, runs away safely.

My mother read Treasure Island to my brother and me, a bit of it every night before bed. It made bedtime palatable knowing I’d be following Jim and Long John Silver on their voyage. I still love that book, and I’m still pained by Long John’s treachery.

When I taught English, some kids took pride in saying they’d never read a book. Others told me my course books were the first they’d ever finished. It saddened me that these kids had never entered the amazing world of books, but once, many, many years later, a former student stopped me and said thanks. He told me he had read all of the books in my science fiction course and hadn’t stopped reading since. That was about my biggest accomplishment: helping make a student a reader.

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

  1. olof1 Says:

    Even warmer here today and no wind to cool us down, I refuse to complain but I really would like to 🙂 But cooler weather is on its way and later next week it will be really cold they say. I’ll most likely complain then 🙂

    I honestly can’t remember if anyone ever read to me as a child. I think I did that myself as soon as I could read. I think I was seen as an odd child since most kids in the area never read any books and I read anything I could find 🙂

    My favorite story has always been The wind in the willows, I borrowed it from the library as often as I could. Now I have the book myself always on my bedroom table so I can open it when ever I like to 🙂 Winnie the Pooh is another favorite 🙂

    I think I have read Chicken Little once but really can’t remember that much from it, but I have the new movie on DVD even if that really isn’t the exact same story.

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      It was cool today as it stayed damp. Boston was 10° warmer. We should have a great day tomorrow.

      I think my mother really gave me my love of reading. She read all the time to me.

      Chicken Little was my under 5 year old favorites, but I love The Wind in the Willows as one of my read them myself books. I too have a copy of the book and read it not so long ago. I have a stuffed animal of each of the characters.

      Chicken Little is really pretty violent with all those animals eaten.

      Enjoy your evening!

  2. Zoey & Me Says:

    TV was in its’ infancy so books were all we had to entertain us. I know with older sisters I had quite a library waiting for me when I was kindergarten age. And my Mom read to me every night before bedtime. That’s probably why we stuck with reading. Although I see my grand kids reading Harry Potter all the time.

    • katry Says:

      Z& Me,
      Even when we got TV, I still loved reading best. I’m never without a book and now with my iPad, I bring several on my trips. In Ghana there were no diversions, not even movies, so I read too many books to count or remember. It was wonderful.

      Kids are just not readers today, but I am thankful for the Harry Potter books as they got non-readers to read. I’m sorry they are finished. The trilogy of The Hunger Games also got kids reading. I wish, though, that the love of reading those series translated to other books.

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I remember my cousin Ellen reading to all of us when she baby sat but I don’t remember my parents reading to us at all. They were always reading. My mother liked to read the newspapers and my father always had a book somewhere near. I read all the time as a kid but my brothers didn’t come to it until they were adults with kids that they had to read to.
    I’m 70% through Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. (It’s a Kindle book, no pages.) Interesting tale of two cities, London Above and London Below and how time doesn’t work the same way in London Below. It has some creepy parts and things die in bad ways but it’s a good read.
    I’ve been to the garden center to buy plants for my father’s grave. Bought some for my yard as well. Now I am dirty and tired and hungry but that little job is complete.
    Enjoy the warm day!

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      My parents were also readers themselves and all of us, my two siters, brother and I, are all readers. None of my nieces and nephews are readers even though my sister read all the time to her kids, and I gave them books for every holiday and their birthdays.

      I have Gaiman’s American Gods on my iPad but haven’t read it yet.

      I got all but the flowers for the deck clay pots-the only annuals I buy each year. I got cucumbers for the vegetable garden and a couple of deck tomato pots and lots of herbs. Nothing is planted as my back gave out after dragging around the heavy wagon then carrying all the plants from the car to the deck.

      It never did get warm here today but I believe it will tomorrow!

  4. Bob Says:

    I don’t remember my mother reading to me as a kid but all the ‘Golden Books’ you mentioned are implanted in my memory by someone. When I learned to read I became an avid reader. A book has always been the gateway for me to escape to other places, other worlds and other people. I didn’t really like kid books like ‘The Hardy Boys’ instead I loved novels and biographies about real people and historical events. In the seventh grade I caught the flu and read Leon Uris’s book ‘Exodus’. I enjoyed it so much that I read ‘Battle Cry’ the following summer. Today I carry several books on my iPad and read them whenever I have a few spare minutes. As much as I enjoy the printed page, the convenience of the digital book and the iPad has changed my mind from paper to bytes.

    Unfortunately, I hated the books that were required reading in school. I think it was a matter of defiance that I was being forced to read a book that didn’t hold my interest. Instead, I would buy the ‘Classic Comics’ or read the ‘Reader’s Digest’ condensed version of the book and pass the test. It was only a grade and didn’t mean anything. I just couldn’t work my way through what are probably your favorite tomes.

    • katry Says:

      I read all kinds of books when I was a kid: mysteries, science fiction, folk tales, biographies and anything else which caught my fancy. I read every Leon Uris book, all the Thomas B. Costain books and all the Lloyd C. Doudlass books. I was heavy into historical fiction at the time. When I happened on an author I like, I read everything.

      Some required books I liked, others I didn’t. I always read them through and sometimes found myself surprised I liked a certain novel when I’d finished it. I think I real all the classics and liked most of them.

      It is the rare book which doean’t hold my attention ( of course I’m chosing what I read).

  5. Bravo ! Once, at a book fair, an old woman told me : You’re never alone, when you have books.

    • Kat Says:

      I totally agree with that old woman. Books have been my friends since even before I learned to read.

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