From library to Kindle, books are always around

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 17, 2024

By Bonnie Brown

I have always loved to read.  I have fond memories of having the Little Golden Books around.  I clearly remember the “Fun with Dick and Jane” books in first grade.  My first-grade teacher, Helen Wilson, was also a family friend which made things a little complicated sometimes.  She believed in keeping the entire class on the same chapter, so she tied string around the pages in the book to keep us from reading on into the next chapters.  Not sure why she thought this was a good idea, but it was her approach.  

I would carry my Dick and Jane book home to read the assigned pages.  But that wasn’t enough for me.  So, my mother would remove the string and we would read on.  The tricky part came when Mom didn’t remember exactly where to put the string back in place to return to school.  Not quite sure when I began to think that Dick and Jane were a bit boring, and that their books should have included more dialog.  

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Since my parents were friends with Mrs. Wilson and her husband, they visited back and forth.  My little brother and I would play with their two sons during the visit.  Once, I ran inside where my mom and Mrs. Wilson were visiting.  Mrs. Wilson left the room while I talked with Mom.  I didn’t know until I was an adult that Mrs. Wilson smoked and didn’t want me to see her smoking.  

I always enjoyed the reading assignments whether it was a textbook or a literature book for English class.  I remember reading “War and Peace” over Christmas break.  I think it was freshman year in high school.    

We enjoyed reading to our sons Dennis and Jeff.  When they were very young, they “read” to us from memory of the book all the while turning pages.  Tom could probably recite “Hamilton Pig” (by Robert Newton Peck) from memory because he read it so many times to Jeff.  We went to the Lafayette County & Oxford Public Library often and it pleased me that when they got older, they would go themselves.  In fact, son Jeff gave me a scented candle a few years ago that replicated the smell of the library.  So special, and such a wonderful memory.  

I personally love the library too.  It is a place where you can find good books and do research to answer questions or complete an assignment or just muse.  Nowadays, I simply download a book to my Kindle, and I also have the answers to any questions at my fingertips via Google!   I also have been known to re-read favorite books.  It’s like visiting an old friend.  

When my husband Tom gifted me with the Kindle, I wasn’t sure I would use it.  I love the feel and smell of the pages of a book.  However, the Kindle provided me with instant access to any book I wanted.  Plus, the back lighting is such a plus. Also, the ability to adjust the print size as I’ve gotten, shall we say more mature, is very useful.  

Reading skills open the door to understanding and doing well in all other subjects in school.  Plus, reading offers an opportunity to broaden your knowledge of many places, things, and topics.  So, take an afternoon and spend time with a favorite novel.  It will quiet your mind and refresh your soul.