Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Salon: My First Salon!

The Sunday

I've been reading Sunday Salon posts for awhile now and thought I'd join in on the fun. I spend a lot of time reading books, thinking about books, writing about books, talking about books and organizing my behemoth book collection. I also try to keep my husband's collection of books somewhat organized so that I can answer that question, "Honey, have you seen [fill in the book title here]?" So it seemed natural that I should join in on Sundays. I'm sure this additional outlet for my book mania will be a relief to family and friends that don't share this 24/7 passion.

Reading has always been an important part of my life. I've still got some of my earliest picture books -- books about farm animals, numbers, letters, elves and shoemakers, and Christmas. They are in such pristine condition that I wondered if I "read" them. My mother has assured me that I did indeed "read" them often. I just happened to be one of those kids that you could take into a china shop and not worry about the safety of the merchandise. To this day I'm pretty easy on my books.

I was first introduced to the library-as-place during elementary school. The books in that library were organized by grade level. It didn't take me long to work through many of the books in my own level and then begin exploring the shelves for the "older" kids. The summer between third and fourth grade I participated in the summer reading program. I had already determined that there were books in the sixth through eighth grade section that I was interested in reading, so I picked up a few of those books, including Dickens' David Copperfield, and headed to the check out desk. The very nice librarian took one look at my book stack and then tried shepherding me back to more "age appropriate" books. "Let me show you where you can find the books for third and fourth grade," she said smilingly. "Oh, I know where they are ... but I want to read THESE books," I replied very confidently. She looked worried. Very wisely she chose not to contest my stubborn little self and, instead, checked them out to me ... along with a note to my mother. My mom didn't seem concerned by the note, but she did check in with me several times as I worked my way through David Copperfield. "So how's the book?" she would ask. "It's VERY good," I replied. And so it was. I still have my certificate of completion for that summer reading program.

How I wish I could be a kid again and spend my summers reading! Joining in reading challenges seems to fill that desire to participate in some kind of reading program though. The latest challenge is Carl V.'s Once Upon a Time Challenge. I love reading fantasy/folklore/myth, so this challenge is right up my alley. I've created a possible list of reads for my Once Upon a Time journey. If you are interested, it is here. I need to add to that list since I forgot to include: The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle and Chernevog by C.J. Cherryh. Eeek! How could I have forgotten those two titles?? A fantasy classic (Beagle) and a story based in Russian folklore (Cherryh) should definitely be on my list.

In current reading news, I just finished a gorgeously written book by Sheila Ortego titled The Road from La Cueva. Based on some of my other reading preferences, the author contacted me about reading and reviewing her book. The book setting is New Mexico and, since I have a love for this region of the U.S., I immediately agreed. I didn't want this book to end. I want to start over at the beginning and read it again. I think I will read parts of it again before reviewing it, but look for a review of this book soon. I hope my words will do it justice.

Well, I could ramble on some more, but I want to visit some other Sunday Salon-ers and then get back to my current read, for the Once Upon a Time challenge, of course! Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint. It's VERY good.


  1. Terri, isn't it a wonder that the librarians didn't discourage us from reading?! It sounds like we had similar souls, although the attitude you have toward your experience is better than mine. Despite their best intentions, I turned into a reader who loves to touch the books. ;) I've been meaning to pick up David Copperfield, in fact, all of the Dickens are sorely lacking in my knowledge base. Good for you for tackling it so young!

  2. Welcome to the Sunday Salon, Terri! I have such fond memories of my childhood library visits. They were magical moments. I loved it when my mom would set me loose on the library and I could wander and pick out my books at leisure. I'm sure she was never far behind, but it felt like I had all the freedom in the world in those moments. ;-)

    I love your story about reading David Copperfield at such a young age. You were indeed an avid reader at an early age. :-)

    Sheila Ortego's book sounds so good!

    I hope you have a great week, Terri!

  3. I loved going to the library when I was a kid. When I started my reading blog, I mentioned a comment that my mom had made about all of the books I would check out as a kid - she wondered if I'd actually read them all. The answer, of course, was not all but most.

    What a silly librarian. Grade level doesn't seem to be the best way to separate books, does it? One of my nieces was reading at a 10th grade level when she was in the 4th grade, for pete's sake.

    Thanks for sharing your memories. I enjoyed reading about them.


  4. Welcome to the Salon! I too have wonderful memories of the library as a child, and I'm hoping my kids will, too!

  5. Welcome to the Sunday Salon, Terri. I'd love to join you in a summer of reading! I hadn't thought of it but I think you're right that the reading challenges are like little reading programs for us to participate in.

    I'm hoping to read Dreams Underfoot for the Once Upon a Time Challenge too. I look forward to hearing what you think of it.

  6. Welcome to the Sunday Salon, Terri! I really enjoyed your post. I didn't get to go to the library much as a child, but I always remember enjoying being around books.

    I have Yvgenie to read for the challenge...I know I'll need to be in the mood for Cherryh's intensity, but I think I'll enjoy it. I'm glad to know you're enjoying your first, De Lint, btw!

  7. Bellezza: I am so glad the librarian didn't keep me from checking out the books I had chosen and am grateful to my Mom for not discouraging my attempts. I only have images of David Copperfield, so do need to read it again at some point. I wonder what it was I found VERY good about the book!

    Literary Feline: " felt like I had all the freedom in the world ...." You are so right! I hadn't quite thought of it that way. I do hope some other bloggers read Sheila's book. I think that a great majority of the book bloggers I follow would enjoy it.

    cj: I guess I understand the thinking behind shelving the books by grade level, but there are always kids who do not fit in that mold. Since I don't work with children I haven't given it much thought as to a better way to shelve books in school libraries.

    SmallWorld at Home: Thanks for visiting!

    tanabata: Maybe we could even have certificates after we finish reading for the challenge! I'm really enjoying Dreams Underfoot. It is just what I was looking for. Hope you read it so we can compare notes.

    Nymeth: You are so right about needing to be in the mood for Cherryh's intensity!

  8. Wow. I'm so impressed with David Copperfield. Even thinking about that book scares me today.

  9. I'm with Natasha - David Copperfield truly intimidates me. How wonderful that you had a love for books so early on; I think a lot of us share that same passion. And needing an outlet to talk about books? That's why I'm here, too.