Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Kristen: Book Collection

Perhaps the first thing I ever collected was books, simply because my parents could justify them as an "extra purchase." It's so hard to get a kid to read these days! So what if she seems to be clomping around aimlessly, she'll find her way. And that's certainly what I did!

I remember my Dad taking us to a really large, sometimes scary looking bookstore in Hillsdale, MI near my Grandma's cottage on Bird Lake. It was just the three of us, my sister perhaps 6 or 7 years old, myself around 10. Dad would head down to the basement where all the "adult" books were, while he left my sister and I upstairs. Looking back, seeing my Dad's love of reading helped to convince me to keep reading. Also, we were really cute kids, and I'm surprised we were not kidnapped in that bookstore while Dad was downstairs reading...

I'm the one on the right. Why were we behind a fence?

I will return to this beautiful story, because this bookstore will show up again! First though, I will share a book that I have grown to love simply because it comments on the hysterical nature of females. As I just so happen to be female, I thought perhaps such information could help me out!

In case you are wondering, pretty much the entire almanac has these little gems, such as "I had always been a very healthy woman until my seventh child was born..." And then it goes on to describe hear "bearing down pains" and "hysterics." Pretty much a menstrual ad from the early 1900's. This almanac always gets me, mostly because of the ads!

This next book I am very proud of, simply because it was dug out of the trash and ended up being worth $400 (No seriously, check it out here

 Basically, my Grandma and I will go about once a year to the dump. And when I mean dump, I mean they ship out their garbage daily, so basically it is a big warehouse with huge bins full of recycling, including one for books. I pulled this one out because of the title, though I had planned to use it as a craft project.

I even took it to school to show some of my students what a "really old book" looks like. Before chopping it up for a project, I decided jokingly to look it up. Imagine our surprise when I  pulled up that $400 price tag! Apparently the book is still in print for preachers, and an original is rare. Right now it sits delicately separate from my other books. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll sell my copy of Lamps, Pitchers, and Trumpets!

This next book is one of my favorites, and I still pull it out to read occasionally. First, let me remind you of the bookstore from the beginning of this post. It's closed now, but I found a few pictures.


I know there is some organization there, but to a child it just looks like a mess of books. While Dad was  downstairs reading (okay, just to clarify, the old lady at the front watched us, so maybe that's why we weren't kidnapped?) we poked around the kid's section. I had a habit of just pulling out pretty covers. Once I pulled this one out, and the cover was so pretty that I had to have it.

It has the word "children" on the front. That worked for me! I didn't really get to read it before we left, but my Dad bought it anyway. I think as an adult I can appreciate it even more!

At first for Helen, then from Aunt Carrie!

This book passed hands a few times, since it was a gift in 1902!

When I did begin to read, I was fascinated by the stories. In one of them, a man offered a pound of flesh for his ships, and just before he was to give it up, a cunning female disguised as a male asked "But did it call for a drop of blood?" I realize now that this was my first exposure to Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice."

Though I did think they dressed funny

There were many other stories, most of which had a Christian moral to pass down. Looking back, it's no wonder I didn't get along with many children my age. The world had been opened up to me through my books! 

This love of reading continues still, to the point that I am now a high school English teacher and teach reading every day! I am lucky to have a skill that can double as a hobby. My reading skills have helped me to be an awesome student to graduate from the University of Michigan with a good GPA, and my writing skills have even gotten me out of a parking ticket! And it all started with that little bookstore. Little did my 10 year old self know, that book was preparing me for the rest of my life!

I felt so civilized reading!

I couldn't stop myself!

You know it's hot if these ladies are having a foot bath!

Thanks for reading my post!


1 comment:

  1. Books are amazing. 'Nuff said. :) My sister and I were just talking earlier about how old books smell so good, like adventure.




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