Last night I finished reading Longfellow’s The Song of Hiawatha. For years I’ve loved to hear the part about Hiawatha’s childhood.
“By the shores of Gitche Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood the wigwam of Nokomis
Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.
Dark behind it rose the forest,
Rose the black and gloomy pine-trees,
Rose the firs with cones upon them;
Bright before it beat the water,
Beat the clear and sunny water,
Beat the shining Big-Sea-Water.”
Last year I ordered a copy of the book from Paperbackswap.com. To my delight, my book was not paperback but a beautiful hard back. The most recent copyright on the book is 1901, and inside the front cover is an inscription reading: “Helen M Gratz, 13th Jan 1919, Boise, Ida.” I love old books. As a child I had several old books on my bookshelves. Whenever I wanted to save some money I’d put the money in my red books. I thought that was clever. Who knows, maybe it was.
Growing up, my parents were always reading. (My dad still is.) Mom would read to us from the Hardy Boys or the Nancy Drew books. She read us both series all the way through. She also read the Tales of Narnia to us. I always looked forward to it. Now, as a mom myself, I sometimes read to the kids. I still read a bit to the younger two but not nearly as much as I’d like. I pulled down an audio version of the Tales of Narnia for us to listen to on the way to and from Disney soon. I hope the younger two like it as much as the rest of us did. My love for reading comes from having always been exposed to good books. I hope my children all learn to love it as much as I do. So far so good. C is barely available when she’s got a book in hand. The boys both like books too but are a bit more picky still. I still need to teach my youngest to read. (She’s 3 so I still have time.)
Currently I am in between books. I don’t like not having a book in hand. I pulled up Anna Karenina by Tolstoy but I haven’t started it yet. Usually I’m reading more than one book at a time. I have one I read on my phone and I like to have another to hold and turn pages. I like to read something fiction and then something else to learn from. I love learning new things. I’ve recently been learning about the constitution, and I still have a lot that I don’t know. I’m also taking a “class” on memory, maybe I’ll write about it one day. For my birthday I got a book on George Washington, I may go ahead and start that one too.