“′Classic′ – a book which people praise and don’t read.”

I’m living the life of a science fiction movie hero in a futuristic film where the outside air will radiate or even melt me. I run out to get the papers and the mail and yesterday I watered the deck flowers. The rest of the time I have stayed inside, in the cool air, welcomed air.

The sun was bright when I woke up, but clouds have taken over. Rain is not predicted so I don’t know what they’re doing here.

When I go out to eat, which isn’t too often, I usually order a cheese hamburger with a variety of fixin’s. Usually onion rings and French fries sit alongside my burger. I like mayonnaise on my burger. Ketchup is for French fries but then again so is mayonnaise.

My fridge still freezes everything. It needs a part which has been ordered so the repairman will be back next week to install the part. I hate when appliances don’t work right. I’m always afraid I’ll need a new one but not this time.

I have favorite books from when I was a kid. Little Women is one I remember best. I wanted to be Jo, never Amy. Treasure Island is another. Long John Silver’s duplicity is what I remember most. Black Beauty made me cry. The horse told his own story, and it was horrible at times. Robinson Crusoe was an amazing hero to me. My mother read it to us at night before bed. Later on, I read it myself. There are more favorite books from back then, but these give you an idea of what was on my book shelf.

My mother read Golden Books to me when I was little. After I learned to read, there was no just for kids fiction like there is now so I read the classics. They were great stories, and I loved the characters and the places. I wanted to live on an island but without one pirates and one with a snack bar.

I was surprised to find out how long ago the novels were written. The oldest was Robinson Crusoe published in 1719. Little Women was 1868, Black Beauty 1877 and the youngest, Treasure Island, was 1883. I never thought the language was stilted or filled with words which had gone out of style. Two of them were rousing adventures and the other two gave my heart pause.

I will always be fond of these books of my childhood.

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12 Comments on ““′Classic′ – a book which people praise and don’t read.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I read all those books but not until I was a teenager. Of course there were The Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, the Bobbsey Twins (wince-making now) and a slew of Golden Books that I can’t remember at all. Well I do remember some of them but I can’t remember if I read them as a child or I read them to my brother’s kids. They all run together.

    My parents were both readers but I don’t recall them reading to us. We kids all read aloud to each other although it was mostly the newspaper funnies and comic books. Loved those Illustrated Classics. 😀

    In high school, I had a friend whose parents didn’t like to read aloud or be read aloud to. How strange, I thought. And so she and I would read books aloud to them all summer long. It was a great way to get through books we knew we should read but didn’t want to. We also read an odd collection of stuff like Fanny Hill, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, and The Forest and the Fort which was one of my friend’s mother’s childhood favorites. We tried to read Finnegan’s Wake aloud but her mother kept insisting that we were doing it wrong. 😀

    It’s lovely up here. The AC is off, the windows are open, the fans are still going but there’s a beautiful cool breeze, sunny skies, and cloud shadows. Perfect.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I remember getting Little Women for Christmas when I was in the fifth grade. St. Patrick’s School was overcrowded so while they build a new school we were bused to Winchester. I remember reading to and from Winchester.

      I read all of the ones you mentioned and some more series, all in cardboard covers and published by Whitman; however, The Bobbsey Twins were published by another company. I have all those books. My mother saved them.

      I’m not sure wince-making is enough for those Bobbsey books.

      Both my parents were also readers, but it was my mother who read Golden Books aloud when I was young. My dad never did. I remember my mother and me taking turns reading aloud to each other.

      That is definitely an odd selection of books. I also read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich but it came out in 2011. I had to look up The Forest and the Fort as I hadn’t heard of it. Fanny Hill was an interesting choice!

      I turned off my AC and opened the doors and windows, but it got hot quickly so I’ll try again tonight.

      Have a great evening!!

      • Caryn Says:

        Yes, Fanny Hill was an interesting choice that spawned some interesting conversations. Never a bad thing, I guess.
        The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich was first published in 1960 and we were reading it around 1965 or 1966. I had to look it up because I thought it had been published in the fifties.

      • katry Says:

        I read The Rise…much later. I think I went through a Germany period.

        I remember reading books banned by the Catholic Church. That was our rebellion period!

  2. olof1 Says:

    It was cloudy and chilly for a long part of the day here but itv suddenly changed inthe afternoon and it became rather nice. I vacuumed all the floors and I was at the super market but besides that I’ve done very little.

    I do like those classics too but I also liked Jules Vernes books, especially a Journey to the Center of the Earth and of course Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

    I can’t remember my mother reading anything to me when I grew up, I guess she taught me to read pretty early so I could do it myself 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Christer,
      I was actually sort of busy. I even did a couple of errands, one of which was to the grocery store so I could get the stuff I need for Saturday’s dinner and a movie.

      I’m with you in loving the Jules Verne books. I read all of them.

      I couldn’t wait to learn to read. The library was and still is one of my favorite places.

      Have a wonderful evening!!

  3. Birgit Says:

    We went to a fair today. It’s the biggest fun fair in this region and some hundred years old and usually very crowded but it was okay in the afternoon. Fair food hasn’t changed very much in the last decades, people from many countries live here so the food was always quite international. We took fried fish with garlic sauce, popular fair and Christmas market food. Back by bike along the canal at sunset with colorful fair lights in the background, the end of a nice day.

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      I do love fairs. Barnstable County’s fair has already gone by for the year. When I was younger, I used to go. I did love the food. I even went on the rides until I did a round ride which made me sick. I haven’t done one since.

      It does sound like a wonderful day especially at sunset!

  4. Bob Cohen Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Whenever I think of the classics I remember buying the Classic Comicbook versions for book reports. I out grew those classic kid books and moved on th modern novels as soon as I could.

    I understand your appliance situation because my bathroom is a mess. Not only does the shower stall need to be replaced, but they had to replace the plywood floor underneath. If you have a shower stall you would be amazed what huge job it is to rebuild. We are staying in a hotel to avoid breathing the dirt and living among the mess. I have been off work all week just keeping an eye on the house.

    All of the workers are from Mexico and they have been working their buns off in 100 degree heat. If we cut off immigration from third world countries like Mexico, who is going to do the manual labor needed in this country for jobs like lawn care, roofing and remodeling? 🙁 I guess all those history and English Lit majors will have to start roofing and remodeling houses to pay back their student loans. 🙂

    August came in with heat and humidity. It didn’t get to the century mark today.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      I never used Classics Illustrated, and I have always loved the classics. Once in a while I read one again.

      Robinson Crusoe was not a children’s book and is one of the first examples of realistic fiction. Much later a kid’s edition, all pictures, was published. Little Women was aimed at girls so I guess Little Men was aimed at boys, but I never thought of it that way.

      I moved on to more current fiction when I had exhausted the classics.

      I have a tub with a shower. I had a leak a while back, and a hole in the wall had to be made to access the pipes. The guy was up there for hours as he had to cut pipe then solder new pipe sections. I totally understand your getting away from the mess produced by such a huge plumbing job.

      People don’t realize how dependent agriculture along the border is to migrant labor. Here on the cape many workers from Eastern Europe came here to work as so any jobs opened up each summer. Trump cut the numbers allowed and some places couldn’t open.

      The day was a bit cooler here too.

  5. Rowen Says:

    Man—I can’t even remember the titles or authors of many of the weird, powerful books that affected me deeply as a kid, though Ursula Le Guin, Madeleine L’Engle and Tolkein are the big names that to come to mind. I liked Piers Anthony too. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Rowen,
      In my Peace Corps book locker was The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. I read each almost wrapt for days. I was thrilled to find these amazing books.


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