2018-06-27 / Editorials

Always a reader

All That’s Fit to Print
Brenda Wall

I was always a reader. The bookmobile was my first real library experience. Aside from all the books that Santa brought or birthday gift books, when it rolled up to my door, it opened a new world.

Every year I read in the vacation reading club and the family adults quizzed me on my reading. I was always a speedy reader and by the time the bookmobile pulled into the library parking lot at day’s end, I was finished with at least two.

There was a biography series about famous people. The books were blue and had black and white drawings and I gobbled up Clara Barton and Abraham Lincoln and, well, every childhood biography the bookmobile had.

I remember reading about Ponce de Leon and I was so thrilled when I knew what adults were talking about when they mentioned the Fountain of Youth. At that point, I was probably sassy and informed the adults that the explorer never found a fountain and really, he was not looking for that at all. I was pretty literal back then.

Do you remember when First State Bank had a fountain out front? Well, I imagined that kind of fountain or one of those Paris fountains.

I read Fifty Famous Fairytales, which was watered down versions of stories and later Anderson and Grimm. My sister’s favorite was Grimms “The white snake,” which was remarkable because our family was pretty snakea phobic. I loved a big Bible story book that my grandmother bought from a traveling salesman. The picture of heaven opening was beautiful.

And I read Beautiful Joe over and over again. It is a story about a dog mistreated and tortured and found a family who loved him. Margaret Marshall Saunders was the author

I read Dr. Seuss and I wanted to fish in McElligot’s Pond and I read Lois Lenski who wrote Peanuts for Billy Ben and Cotton in My Sack, stories about country children. Growing up, the adults would let us “help” with the crops and I thought Lenski knew something about living in the country.

I read every book in the Little House on the Prairie series.

When the Wilders built a house on the prairie, I could feel the cool earth of the dirt floor under my feet. I can remember the raging fire that was racing across the prairie and I could feel the fear and desperation of the book characters.

I could see their food on the table and their bed and the curtains and everything. Wilder was a wonderful writer.

So I just read that some committee is taking Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name off of an award for authors because how she sometimes dealt with Native Americans in an unflattering way.

There are thousands of wonderful books that someday, someone will point to an idea that one person didn’t like. It will happen again.


Have a good week.

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