Richard, Harry and I have something in common.

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    Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.  Lemony Snicket

     Books are uniquely portable magic. Stephen King

Whether it's "Far from the Madding Crowd" or "Jill's Gymkana," Harry--like his Creator--enjoys a good book.

One of the things I really relate to in terms of Richard Armitage and the character said to be most like him, Harry Kennedy, is their fondness for books. When I was a little girl, one rarely saw me without a volume of some sort in my hand. It might be a book of fairy tales or one of our World Book Encyclopedias. I loved books–always have, always will. There’s a reason why my spectacles kept getting thicker and thicker over the years.

I was addicted to a good read before I ever made it to the first grade.

My older sisters used to read to me at bedtime. One of my favorite stories was Miss Suzy, about a kind-hearted grey squirrel and the doll house she lived in. I don’t know how many times those poor girls had to read it. I am certain at times they wanted to build a bonfire and cheerfully toss that volume on top of it. Another one I loved was Miss Twiggley’s Tree.  Apparently something about eccentric females-human and otherwise–who lived in trees captured my fancy. I am thrilled to see both of these books are still in print and drawing high ratings at Amazon.

The eccentric Miss Twiggley was scoffed at by the townspeople, but when a flood came, they were glad to join her in her cozy treehouse.

The book I knew by heart after my sisters read it to me countless times. A kind squirrel and a group of gallant toy soldiers become good friends and make a home in a doll house after Suzy is chased out of her home by some mean red squirrels.

Being read to as a child by two older sisters who loved to read, in a house where I was surrounded by books,  in an era when there was no satellite television, no home computers or video games, it seemed pretty natural that I would become a bookworm. I was the youngest and spent more time alone, so I learned to amuse myself. And taking these wonderful flights of fancy with these stories–to other countries, other cultures, other times and even other planets–kept me from ever being bored.  So many books–so little time, indeed.

A good book. A cozy cat. Toss in a cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea and I am a happy camper.

Some people today would pity me a childhood without all the bells and whistles found today. And be assured, I would miss all this modern technology–e-mail, search engines, this very blog, a jillion channels on the satellite and that handy-dandy DVR feature–but in many ways I am glad I didn’t have exposure to all of that. Instead, I used my imagination. I made mud pies and rode my bike and my red Radio Flyer wagon, I played with my Barbies (that’s a whole ‘nother post), took grand adventures on my bouncing toy “pony” and made a tent between the twin beds and “camped out.” I sketched and I crafted and occasionally practiced the piano.  And I read. A lot.

I have so very many books that I have loved from childhood–Little Women, King of the Wind, The Snowstorm, A Walk in the Woods, to name just a few. I am sure you have your own favorites. It seems to me Richard’s fans are, by and large, readers, part of that greater sister and brotherhood of those who know the “uniquely portable magic” that is a good read.

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

19 responses »

  1. Very well said, Angie! Our parents used to read us bedtime stories, even after we learned to read! And it was so enjoyable! Is it any wonder I grew up to be a bit of a bookworm? 🙂 Also, I used to play on my own for hours making up stories in which my dolls and stuffed animals were the protagonists. (In those stories, my Barbie doll used to be kidnapped often and her friends used come to her rescue!).And I’m glad I didn’t grow up being glued to a computer screen like my niece and nephews…I should go to bed it’s 1.30 am here. Hope you are feeling well Angie. How’s the pain?

    • I am grateful my oldest niece is encouraging her daughters to read and she and my sister both read to them. It can help you in so many ways. Oh yes, Barbie adventures!!
      Thanks for asking, sweetheart. I haven’t felt great today. More of a diffuse pain and fatigue instead of the intense centralized pain in my shoulder, neck and head. Didn’t sleep last night, got a few hours today. Supper has not agreed with me. 😦 Same ol’ same ol.’

  2. Amen. I am always reading. My parents said that one day when I was 4, I just started reading and I’ve never looked back! The thing that I love the most about teaching, is teaching them to read. I especially love it when they or their parents tell me how much they love to read. I hope that they will continue to love a good read. I will continue that mission 20 kids or so at a time. To take kids from not even knowing the alphabet to reading 6 or 7 paragraph stories in 180 days is awesome.

  3. I only ever remember having one book read to my sister and I – “Charlotte’s Web”. (Not to say there weren’t others, I just don’t remember). I have also always had a love of books, and have encouraged all three of my kids to lose themselves in them. My youngest (and only) daughter, also loves books. As naughty as it is, it always makes me chuckle to see the lengths they go to at night, to sneakily read after I’ve turned their lights out. (And they’re 15, 12 and 10). They still love going to the library, and come out with at lest 6 books each. A very quiet afternoon after that! I only hope they pass on the pleasures of books to their own kids.

  4. I was a real bookworm as a child. My siblings and I were fortunate to have an aunt who owned a bookshop in the city, and one of our absolute joys when we visited her was to go to the shop after hours to browse and choose an armful of books each. Favourites that I recall were the Narnia Chronicles, Noel Streatfeild’s “Ballet Shoes”, “Stig of the Dump” and “The Secret Garden.”
    I had kept many of my books for my own future children but sadly ended up having to throw them out a few years ago. The pages had gone yellow, and the glue binding them dried up and they fell apart. At least that won’t happen with books on a kindle!!

    • A few years ago, I dug out my Suzy book from a box of books my mother had packed away in the little house next door to the farmhouse (the former cook’s house). It had been nibbled by mice and was rather the worse for wear, but I cleaned it up and brought it back here. 😀 I also loved The Secret Garden and I had an abridged version of A Little Princess I re-read over and over, later getting the complete book. I have purchased replacement copies of some of my favorite childhood books over the years, some of which I tracked down through alibris as they are now out of print. And I have found some lovely illustrated hardback editions of some of the classics. Ah, books!!

  5. As soon as I could read I always had a book in hand and didn’t play much with dolls. The first book I read alone was « Les malheurs de Sophie » by Countess of Ségur. I adored all her books and at home I had the chance to own an old Hachette edition with illustrations. I also remember the pleasure I had to read Perrault’s and Andersen’s fairy tales. I have read them as bedtime stories
    to my daughter. Aaaah “Le petit chaperon rouge et le grand méchant loup” !
    Books were and still are a constant companion and I never experienced the feeling
    of boredom.
    I have to admit that I appreciate modern technology. My Kindle is my new companion and I looove it !

  6. I think that says something about Richard that so many of his fans are well read, intelligent and thoughtful people! We are not your average fangirlz 🙂

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