Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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Loving

I’ve always loved books. One of my earliest memories from moving to C-Town is sitting in my little green rocking chair, surrounded by my books, and wishing Mom would stop what she was doing (unpacking) and read to me.

She did. 🙂

Most children think the world started when they were born, but I was a little different. I thought a love for the written word started with me. After all, about the only time I saw one of my parents read, it was them reading a book to me or one of my sibs. Why would I believe otherwise?

As soon as my brother or sisters learned to read, I loved to take them downtown to get their first library card.

So this weekend, while cleaning out a file cabinet in my office, I rediscovered something I found when I lived in Grandmother’s house. First, I found this.

I took it to Dad and asked who it had belonged to, and he said it had been his. I don’t know if you can read in the picture, but it says, BOOK TWO, (The First Reader). BTW: The copyright is 1925.

Dad’s first grade book! And probably a school book, not from church.

It has stories with names such as, “Jesus Growing Up,” and “God Speaking to a Little Boy.” Try putting that in a public school reader today!

Not long later, I found two more books.

NATIONAL VELVET

WEE WILLIE WINKIE

 NATIONAL VELVET’S copyright page.

Written in 1935 by Enid Bagnold

This edition was published in 1942, when Dad was 12 years old. I have to think he read it when he was in 6th grade. How do I know they’re his?

Because he wasn’t shy about writing his name in his books. I don’t know if he bought and read them because he just like reading or if they were class assignments. I’ll try to remember to ask him.

WEE WILLIE WINKIE, by Rudyard Kipling, has some interesting story titles.

Can you read that very last story title? “In an Opium Factory”! Kind of eye opening, isn’t it. At least it got my attention. I’ll have to read it (carefully, so I don’t rip any of the brittle pages) and see what it’s all about. I’ll let you know. 🙂

Not long ago, Sister Cindy boxed up Dad’s books and sent them to the office. I knew they were coming and figured they’d be about geology. Some were. Some were religious books, and some were books he just enjoyed reading.

The boxes, stacked full of books, lined the hallway for about twenty feet.

Where are they now? Going into my office, of course!.

I love having things my dad has enjoyed.

I love knowing a book I read (and cried over) when I was a kid is one he read, too.

And I love knowing I come by my love for reading from my dad as well as my mom.