“There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love.”

Did you hear that? It was a howl sounding like the scream of a wild animal out of control, but it was no animal. I am that screamer. It is all because today is cloudy. Oh, gee, a cloudy day?  I suppose, like a Pollyanna, I should find the sunny side. There is no snow. There it is, the only bright spot in the whole day.

Yesterday I did some errands, oiled some furniture, washed and dried a load of laundry and swept the kitchen floor. All of them were mindless activities meant to help the day pass quickly. I wanted today because the weather man had predicted sunny. He was wrong and should be tarred, feathered and driven out-of-town on a rail.

I spend a bit of yesterday reading and was reminded of when I was a kid lying in bed reading a book, usually one of the classics. Back then there was no special literature for kids, no books with special themes or social commentary or age appropriate suggestions. Many of the books I read my mother had read when she was young. It didn’t matter they were about long ago. I loved reading them for their adventures and for their characters.

Some of those classics have become enshrined in my memory. When I was ten, I read Little Women and couldn’t put it down. I wanted to be Jo. She had a mind of her own and fought convention, and I thought how brave she was. My mother read us Treasure Island, and I was enthralled with buccaneers, pirates and buried treasure, and I envied Jim Hawkins. The duplicity of Long John Silver just about broke my heart. The Wind in the Willows is now and will forever be one my favorite books. Black Beauty made me cry as did Heidi when they took her away from the grandfather. Nancy Drew is not a classic but had been around for years when I first found her. She is the reason I still love a good mystery. Add Trixie Belden to that list.

Kids today have so many choices and so many wonderful books to read, but I am a bit sorry that the classics gather dust. I understand it, but I am still a bit saddened. Jim Hawkins, Jo March and Heidi are in my memories, but I wish they were still alive.

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23 Comments on ““There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    Sunny, cold and windy here today but I mostly slept or watched tv due to a stomach flu or a slight food poisoning. It looked nice through the windows though 🙂

    Moby Dick was a favorite of mine and I also read a couple of Nancy Drew but she’s called Kitty over here. But like You I love the Wind in the Willows. I remember as a kid how they showed paintings while reading the story on tv and I just loved it. They did the same with another favorite, Winnie the Pooh. We didn’t need much back then 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Christer,
      The sun made an appearance late this afternoon. I didn’t recognize it!

      I liked Moby Dick except for the middle section about whales. I read a little then skipped the rest. I wanted the story.

      That’s odd she is called Kitty. I never read Winnie the Pooh as a kid. Maybe it wasn’t around.

      Have a great evening!

  2. Birgit Says:

    Did you scream westwards? Winter is back and we had snow today!
    Heidi is now too old to climb the mountains, she needs a cableway. But Pippi Longstocking will hopefully stay forever young. I think only classics without outdated gender roles have a chance to survive. Heidi and some others may rest in peace.

    • olof1 Says:

      Yes Pippi will always stay young 🙂 It’s funny but I love Astrid Lindgrens stories but I have never read any of them, only seen the movies.


      • Christer,
        My friend and I took her girls to see a Pippi movie. It was my only exposure to her. I think I would have liked her life!

      • Birgit Says:

        Christer, you haven’t read Astrid Lindgren??? I can’t believe it! We probably saw the same Swedish Lindgren movies.
        Kat, the American Pippi remake I saw later on TV was lame compared to the Swedish Pippi.
        Bill, I’ve heard about this place, but I was never there. I’m glad to hear this classic book is still alive.

    • Bill S. Says:

      I worked off-and-on in Germany for several years, in a town called Borkheide, south of Berlin (by train about 40 minutes). There is a Swedish housing development there, with a small market place with shops, dentist, etc. The restaurant wan named “Pippi”, and the whole marketplace was “Pippi”- inspired. Now my granddaughter is reading the book.

    • Birgit,
      I believe I did!

      Heidi was almost exotic to me taking place in a different country with mountains and goats. I was never a Pippi fan though I don’t know why. The description of the Alps stayed with me and I always wanted to see them.

    • olof1 Says:

      Ni I never read them 🙂 I grew up when the movies started coming so saw them all at the cinemas. But I have heard Astrid Lindgren read them in the radio, I loved her voice 🙂

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Sun’s up here. Sorry. 🙂 It dawned cloudy, windy and cold but now it’s sunny and only cold if the wind is blowing. You need to come up here.
    I read the same books as you did. Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Bobbsey Twins. I consumed books like candy. I was one of those flashlight under the covers readers whose parents were always yelling at me to get my nose out of the book and go outside. 🙂
    It is a little sad that those old books are not read now. But the old stories are even farther removed from today’s youth than they were from us. Trixie and Nancy were recent past when I was reading them. Bobbsey Twins and Little Women were distant past and much of what was considered normal was out of my ken. It must be even stranger for children two more generations removed. They’d need the heavily annotated versions. We all know annotations make things work instead of fun. 🙂 Maybe old stories are for people to read when they are older. I know most of what I had to read in school wasn’t any good until I had been out of school a long time. But I still think Hemingway sucks. 🙂

    Maybe the sun will be down your way tomorrow. Hope so. Enjoy the day anyway. 🙂

    • Hi Caryn,
      We did get some sun in the afternoon. It came out, left, came out, left then came back out in the late afternoon to stay. I’m hoping it will be around tomorrow.

      I had a light which hung over the headboard of my bed. I used to pile covers over me so I could take the light under and read without anyone seeing the light,. It would get so hot under there the plastic light would sometimes melt. My mother just couldn’t understand how that happened. I never enlightened her.

      Trixie was current with me, but Nancy wasn’t with her roadster, but I didn’t really care. It was a book to read, and, like you, I devoured them. I was young when I read The Bobbsey Twins so I didn’t notice how dated they were.

      I too still think Hemingway sucks!

      I’m going down my friends’ house for appies, games and The Amazing Race.

  4. Bill S. Says:

    Today was sunny and warm (50?) with a blue sky. I walked up to town and back, then cleared out a chair spot on the pool deck, and sat in the sun and read and listened to music. I had a cup of coffee that I rested on the 3-foot high snow next to my chair–didn’t need a table. As I sat there, the snow retreated further, so now there is a spot for Peg’s chair. Soon it will be big enough for our outdoor rockers, or a lounge chair or two.

    I’m in the middle of The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. So far it’s not as good as the first two, and moves slowly. There are a lot of Swedish names to keep track of–almost like a Shakespearean play. Hard for me to remember them all at my age and mental condition.

    Our friend in Arlington is 46 and had a single mastectomy. She looks great and has a great attitude, but will have to have chemo for 5 months.

    • Bill,
      I’ll be content with a blue sky and 50˚. Ha, I love your table. No snow at all here. We had two straight days of rain which beat down any snow which was left.

      I didn’t like that one as much either. The first was my favorite. Hard at my age too!!

      I think the great attitude is essential as part of the healing process. My friend in Australia was just told he is probably not going to live long; agent orange did him in. He wrote and told me and it was so, so sad as he is a lover of life.

  5. Hedley Says:

    And so the Michigan snows retreated into the water soaked lawns and I ventured out with shovel and bags in hand to address the debris of Maggie the Terrier and the vulgarities of the vermin known as Deer.
    I had spent the morning prepping my taxes for my chums at Plante Moran. I never file before August, but it takes a while to get the stuff ready for the first round of extensions. Strangely I then took on my study doing cleaning stuff and moving things around. It is also Skype Sunday so I hit Twickenham and Brussels but not BC.
    My reading has been severely damaged by the ipad

    • My Dear Hedley
      The back yard is Gracie’s and I don’t touch it. The landscapers men come and take away the winter debris, limbs and such, and weed it in the summer but that’s it.

      I don’t get anything back any more so I do mine at the last moment.

      Off to friends for appies, games and The Amazing Race!!

      • Hedley Says:

        Kat have a great night and enjoy AR. I will give it another try tonight.

      • My Dear Hedley,
        I really enjoyed AR. They are in the most beautiful countries this trip. The Bali episode tonight was gorgeous.

        I hope you enjoyed it!

      • im6 Says:

        Yes, oh yes, the Race was once again amazing! And I’m definitely aboard the David and Connor bandwagon. I even forgive Connor for sneaking a peek at the icon on the competition’s surfboard (hey, you gotta do what you gotta do!) One of the big thrills of the race is seeing a team get eliminated because of hubris. Too bad, so sad to see you go, John Erck (what’s with that spelling?), but I did feel sorry that Jessica had to pay for your bullheadedness!

  6. im6,
    I agree-you do what you have to do as long as you don’t screw (on purpose) another team. Looking at the icon was just fine.

    I could not believe the ego of John who pushed Jessica to do that second task with the mud. He arrived at the fruit discussing his ability to do tasks with patterns then sucked at it. Right then I’d have whipped out my express pass and moved right on to Phil. Jessica needs to dump him quickly. What’s with his hair and the headband?

    • im6 Says:

      Hair and headband? What about those atomic-blast-white teeth? They burned my retinas. And, oh, I should apologize to John for the comment about his name. His LAST name is Erck. I thought it was just some stupid spelling of Eric, but I was wrong. (At least I can admit it when I am — unlike John!)

      • im6,
        You are right about the teeth, but I was busy making rude comments about his weird hair. Speaking of comments, he totally flummoxed Phil with his, “I don’t see the value in looking back and having regret over decisions we have no control over.” What in the hell does that mean?

  7. I love Little Women, too.

    • katry Says:

      Your name is a perfect reflection of that!

      Little Women made a huge impression on me. I also went on and read the whole series.

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