August 9. BLD.
Huh? Yes it will be BLD – Book Lovers Day, celebrated internationally, according to Wikipedia. “This is an unofficial holiday observed to encourage bibliophiles celebrate reading and literature. People are advised to put away their smartphones and every possible technological distraction and pick up a book to read.”
How I Got Started with Books
I’ve always loved books, starting with The Funny Bunny when I was a pre-reader, moving to Fun with Dick and Jane which introduced me to my first literary friends group: Dick and Jane, Sally, Puff and Spot. In retrospect, of course, Dick and Jane had a pretty thin story arc, no antagonists, no climax, and no dénouement. But at five years old I loved going through the book and finding the strings of letters that looked the same. My sister and I used to laugh at how the “a” was not like any a that we wrote. And the “g”? It was so much easier to make a sloping g rather than all those squiggly lines. But we accepted the a and g, and were on our way to decoding words.
Trixie Belden Books
The first books that “took” me somewhere were Trixie Belden books. We had a whole set of what must have been first edition Trixie Belden books at home which I read and reread.
Trixie regularly walked along the path in the woods from her house to her friend Honey’s house. No big excitement, just a teenage girl setting off on her own to see a friend. How many times did I replicate a trip like that through Poison Ivy Lane, the wooded, and edged with poison ivy, lane my dad cleared each summer to get to the beach during our idyllic summers in Miller Place Long Island? Was Trixie the impetus for loving hikes along trails in the Adirondacks, High Point New Jersey, and now up on Mt Lemmon in Summerhaven Arizona? A seed of a writing idea to be explored another time.
For BLD, what matters is that all those squiggles made words, then sentences, and then stories that entertained me, educated me, advised me, and inspired me to write my own stories.
The Covers of My Childhood Favorites:
The images are ones I grew up with. I’m a first edition reader on these!
So here’s to August 9!
When the digital date on my laptop flips to August 9, I doubt if I’ll put away my smartphone and other devices, but I plan to spend a few hours sitting in the big chair in my office – reading.
A Question for Readers
What are you reading? Post your favorites then or now in Comments
Check in with me on BLD (August 9): Books I’m Loving These Days
Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships. She also enjoys sharing stories at Odyssey Storytelling, Tucson Tellers of Tales, and just about anywhere there’s a mic.