Of Reading Pleasures

Saturday is my favorite day of the week. I try very hard to keep it free from social obligations. This is my day to sleep in, relax, read, and shop – all without having to stay on a schedule or having to hurry because I need to be somewhere else. Even if somehow I end up busy on a Saturday (in spite of all my precautions), still at night I will curl up in my bed, sometimes with a steaming cup of tea, always with blankets around me, propped by the pillow against my back, my bedside lamp shimmering softly – and lose myself in an engrossing novel. As a child, reading was a pastime that I couldn’t get enough of. As an adult, finding the time to read for pleasure eludes me more than ever, but when I can actually sit and read for an extended amount of time, the pleasure I enjoyed as a child getting lost in a good story is that which still enthralls me now – surely an indication of the power with which we are shaped by things as children and that endure on into our adult years.

petticoats west

I am still reading Diary of A Provincial Lady, but am finally nearing completion. I need to finish it before my next book arrives. I absolutely must tell you about this book. I used to read Petticoats West often as a child, reveling in the romantic and funny story of two girls stowing away on a boat in their effort to get to the promised lands of the Wild West. It was an old book and no longer in print, so I checked it out frequently from the library, reading it over and over again. Then one sad day my library didn’t have it anymore. I was crushed. That book was a favorite. I tried to acquire it using an interlibrary loan program, but to no avail. I eventually forgot about the book until somehow, years later, it suddenly and inexplicably came to mind. Oh yes, that book which I loved so much and never could find – was it possible to find a copy now? After all, there had not been an eBay or Amazon.com when I was a child where one could shop books the world over. I looked it up and success! found it on Amazon. Sadly, it was then still considered rare and the prices were unaffordable. I put it in my wish list and waited. I checked often, but the prices, while fluctuating some, never came down to an affordable amount. At long last, an ex-library in good condition and for less than $20 finally appeared! And now I wait with eager anticipation for this book. I know that as an adult, the story will probably be less compelling than what I remember. I may now even find the writing and narrative jarring. But as a fond memory of my childhood and the delight I experienced in any story having to do with pioneers, this book will not disappoint. Already, just in anticipating its arrival, it has brought back to mind the delightful, imaginary worlds I visited as a child through the books that I read. Surely some of my fondest memories are tied to the narratives that shaped my imagination as a child, and have since guided my reading life as an adult.

Until next time, dear friends… xo

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