Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Childhood Reading Adventure

Lifelong reader Freda’s post about how the challenges of aging can affect a love of reading hit home today. Her post is here. She took me back to the early days of my discovery that worlds of adventure awaited me in books.

I was transported to an environment where I was no longer the shy, clumsy and inept creature convinced of her own intellectual deficiencies and cowardice.

The magic of books transformed me into a smart, often athletic and always adventuresome, courageous being who met dangers and all manner of challenges with none of the trepidation that was my constant companion in real life.

Fortunately there were other transformations in childhood and my teens that steadily ate away at all those negative and limiting self- images. But that is another day’s stroll down memory lane.

Freda recalls in her post about reading as a child, “I was the typical child in bed at night with book and torch under the covers half-listening for the footsteps and the opening of the bedroom door. Oh it was so worth the inevitable scolding.”

I, on the other hand, never could get away with reading under the covers with a flashlight during childhood. I did do some foolish and sneaky things to read, however. A ladder left leaning against our carport was access to a hiding place beneath a rooftop gable.

Parents would call, but never find me. The downside was that the roof that was cool in the morning turned extremely hot later, blistering my summertime bare feet. Evidently I thought the uninterrupted reading was worth tender soles.

I guess I didn't recognize the dangers in the frantic gyrations I performed as I traversed the hot roof up the front side, down the back and along the edge to the ladder.

To borrow and rewrite Freda’s words, “Oh it was so worth the inevitable” hot-foot experience!


  1. Makes me think of the things we did as kids that were so dangerous, and we were too dumb to know any better. Well, kids all think they will live forever, anyway!

  2. I never did dangerous or adventurous things in my childhood, but i did it ALL in my books, I loved Nancy Drew and Tarzan and Bomba were always good for adventure. also read a million westerns since my dream was to be a cowboy,NOT a cowgirl. I read my childhood away, i could escape into a book for hours. i still do that now

  3. I remember all the nights of reading my Nancy Drew books by the nightlight. Still have those books, too.

  4. Reading is such a joy and I fear the young are ignoring that wonderful entertainment tool. I was hoping that e-books would get them going again with the screen and buttons. Lets hope.

  5. Absolutely!
    I cheated and tricked with the best (or worst?) of them to read just another chapter.

  6. My dad had a book plate his mother had given him, and it is my life mantra: "A friend of books is never without a friend." Thanks for the tip. I had missed Freda's blog. Dianne

  7. I, too, enjoyed escaping into books while growing up--I still do!

    Speaking of "hot foot" experiences, I once walked to a friend's house barefooted. The pavement was so hot, I actually had blisters on the bottoms of my feet! Ouch! I was 12, I should've known better.

  8. Ah, books were my best friend growing up. I read under the covers, on the toilet (smile), any place and anytime.
    Nancy Drew was a favorite. too.