Monday, March 21, 2011

Memory Lane

If my house caught fire (god forbid) and I only had a few minutes to gather a few things, I'm fairly certain I'd grab three things: my wedding ring, a family photo album, and my worn copy of The Golden Treasury of Children's Literature.  And probably a coat.

I can think of three books that so influenced me when I was a kid: Dr. Seuss, The Boxcar Children, and The Golden Treasury of Children's Literature.  These, of course, are the books that I devoured before I reached the pre-teen stage when I switched to reading more of the angsty stuff and, of course, many of the usual classics.

Imagine my surprise when I looked it up on Amazon.  And it still existed!!  Of course, they didn't have a .jpeg of the book cover (it's too old); instead they had a photo of the book cover but it didn't really matter.  I still have my original, worn copy with the binding that's all but fallen off.

My sisters and I must have read all of the stories in this book a million times.  We got it for Christmas one year and I remember thinking how great it was to get such a great big fat book for Christmas--a "grown-up" book because it was so thick and fat.  My copy still has pages where my youngest sister drew on it with her crayons, much to my horror.  But together we read about emperors with no clothes, little boys named Tom Thumb, princesses with hair that stretched the length of a castle's walls, and black-haired girls followed around by seven dwarfs. 

My mother wasn't one to save a lot of stuff.  With a big family, it was hard to and whenever we outgrew anything, it was immediately given away, sold in a garage sale, or recycled somehow.  That's just the way she rolled.  But I am so glad she didn't give away this book.  I wouldn't part with it for anything.

Do you still have any of your childhood books? Ones that made a huge impact on you in some way?

18 comments:

Colette said...

I do still have some of my childhood books. My favorite was The Little Bear. When I first started reading on my own I must have read that every day for months!

Elizabeth Bass said...

My grandmother had The Tasha Tudor Book of Fairy Tales, and I made her read me a story called "Mr. Samson Cat" so many times she really must have dreaded my visits. I don't have the book, but I looked up the cover on Amazon and it made me so nostalgic I started craving a Frosty root beer and chocolate covered graham cookies--my grandmother's favorite treats.

Liz Fichera said...

Colette, I love THE LITTLE BEAR! In fact, I remember a period (I think I was around 8-9 yrs old) where I refused to read anything unless it contained animals.

Liz, Amazon didn't have a book cover for Tasha Tudor but I did find your book on etsy:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/49599349/the-tasha-tudor-book-of-fairy-tales

From the book cover, it looks like it had beautiful illustrations.

Now I have a craving for a frosty root beer--in one of those heavy frosted mugs, too! :-)

Angie Ledbetter said...

Not too long ago, I got a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond off ebay. One of my treasures is a first edition of To Kill a Mockingbird I had signed by Harper Lee!

Linda Leszczuk said...

When we were young, my parents invested in the How and Why book series for us. Looking back, I don't know how they afforded it - things were very lean in those days. I still have them and looking at them now still takes me back.

J.L. Campbell said...

Unfortunately, I don't have any story books, but I do have text books somewhere. Why? I do not know.

Donna Cummings said...

I love this -- it made me remember a book called "A Cavalcade of Queens", and I recall it being fairy tale type things. Of course, now I have to FIND it, to see if my memory is correct. LOL I also remember devouring the Little House on the Prairie books, and being thankful there were so many of them because I didn't want the story to end.

Angelina Rain said...

I had a similar book when I was a child. It had all the classic childrens stories. However, my mom gets rid of everything too, and she gave that book away.

I’m glad you still have yours.

Maria Zannini said...

LOL. It's been too long since I was a child.

Sierra Gardner said...

I totally went on Amazon a few years back and purchased the same fairy tale book that I read as a young girl. My old copy had been so battered by my younger siblings that I was thrilled to find one in decent shape. I still read it sometimes and the stories bring back so many great memories!

Madeleine said...

I absolutely adore children's books and collected many in my early twenties when I worked in a bookshop. I also have our collection of Ladybird books from childhood. :O)

Liz Fichera said...

So many great books listed in the comments. Now I totally want to bag writing for the afternoon and curl up and read. :-)

Cold As Heaven said...

I still have most of the books from my childhood, all my favorites at least: The Hardy Boys series (the junk literature that our local librarian refused to take in), the classics like Robinson Crusoe, The Jungle Book and Tom Sawyer, and the books by Astrid Lindgren. Her stories about Emil from L√łnneberget are still among my all-time favorites >:)

Cold As Heaven

Nas Dean said...

I received Gulliver's Travels and it most probably made an impact on me, to read and later to try and write. As Gulliver's Travels was full of fantastic places and people.

Liz Fichera said...

LOVED The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew! Gulliver's Travels--another fave!

Deniz Bevan said...

I love hanging onto my childhood books. Yours looks like a great one! Oh, and I even have a couple of my mother's including an older hardcover of Hans Christian Andersen's tales.

Marianne Arkins said...

I have a ton of my old books and have starting handing some off to my daughter. Mostly, though, she's just not interested in the same things I was (I was MAD about horses -- so I have practically everything Marguerite Henry wrote, and the entire "Black Stallion" series).

She does like the Prydain Chronicles, though, and is more into fantasy than real life type books. That's okay... I have those, too! *G*

Adina West said...

I'm from a big family too - and thankfully, while my mother did get rid of lots of other things she kept the books.

I've always loved childrens' books, and used to hang out in the picture book section of the library when I was really far too old to do so! ;-)

Titles I remember from my childhood still make me nostalgic, and now I have a child of my own I have a real excuse to buy childrens' books again. This area is my budget black spot for sure...