Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Books and Books and Books

During my lunch hour today (Tuesday) I headed for our nearest specialist book shop Waterstones, and spent a good 20 to 30 minutes just browsing as to what books they carried. Its a while since I have indulged myself in this way. Trouble is I saw several books that I would really like to get my mitts on and at the moment I don't have the pennies. So needless to say I will go back another dinner time and make a list of the ones I would really like to read and form a plan of attack. Its a while since I have done any serous reading and I am getting the urge again.

Its surprising really that I ever learned to read. I was one determined little madam and I did not find reading easy to start with. Enter my dear father; he was as equally determined that I was going to learn to read as he knew how much pleasure I would get from it. He gave me extra tuition on reading and on spelling; every evening after school he used to sit with me for an hour, through tears and tantrums and Dad losing his cool once or twice, he got me there and the little girl who was determined not to read found a long life friend.

It turned out that I didn't have terminal problems - I wasn't bad at reading just that I was making simple unnecessary mistakes with similar spelt words like their, there, through, though etc. Dad with his perseverance and constant spelling tests soon put that right.

My Dad always taught me that if you had a book you always had a friend; it was a place to retire to a world of fantasy a retreat from the outside world and an ideal way of keeping myself entertained and of no nuisance to anyone when I was bored or lonely. That has held me in good stock over the years. Poor old Dad then had the problem of me retreating into fantasy land and wanting to stay there rather than face reality. He got there bless him with an awful lot of patience and boy did he need it especially with a child who wanted to know the why's the wherefores and the ins and outs of everything - and endless long conversations.

I was also very lucky as my Dad had stimulated my imagination from a very early age; he had been to Egypt with the Services and had been there for a few years. He was therefore able to take us on Magic Carpet rides and describe places to us and really bring things to life. My brother sadly doesn't remember that much - he is 3 1/2 years younger than me, but he does remember the Magic Carpet rides. Funny what sticks in your memory.

My Dad always maintained that you only got out what you put in, and that always stayed with me.

Because of his intervention by the time I was 7 years old I had the reading capability of a 16 year old. I was always in the school library and read the Hobbit when I was seven years old and totally enjoyed it. Latterly at Junior School in Peterborough because of my love and knowledge of books I was made Year Librarian and used to help the other kids with reading as well.

Apparently I had a photographic memory as a child; Dad was an Engineer by trade and from about the age of 2 years he used to ask me to pass a 2 3/8ths spanner for example and every time I used to pass him the right one; I also knew what each tool was used for and how it was used. I couldn't for the life of me tell you now. Surprising that I stayed near him and the cars and bikes because as soon as he used to crank handle the car into action I would start squealing. I didn't like the noise.

My first husband and my current partner both hated/hate it when I read as I really become immersed and involved in what I am reading and cannot bear to put the book down. It makes me a tad anti-social. Unfortunately I am a compulsive reader and when I start I have to go all the way through. The only thing I cannot do is read before going to bed - it wakes me up and I just don't get to sleep.

Do you like reading or have you always viewed it with suspicion and not really got into it or do you love reading as much as I do and have you been able to pass on your enthusiasm to your own children. It would be lovely for some feedback.


  1. Hi Pattypan,

    I just found your blog and I'm enjoying your posts. We both love cats and love to read.

    My Grandmother and my Mother were both readers, so I grew up with books. I have always read for entertainment and to learn. Like you, when I begin a book, I find it hard to put down.

    Your Dad sounds like a wise and kind person. You were lucky to have him to encourage and coach you in reading.

  2. Hello Sweet Virginia Breeze - yes I love cats - well all animals really at the moment it is the cats - my babies - although sometimes they are worse than children. All mine are very vocal and Merlin or Squeak often end up screeching at the back door to be let in. Yes I was very lucky having a very special Dad - he used to make things come alive when teaching us things; he had originally wanted to be a Teacher and had passed the entrance exams for either Oxford or Cambridge but unfortunately was not able to take up the option as in those days you had to fund yourselves and my grandparents could not afford it. I think as a result he ended up putting all his energy into my brother and myself and I really think he enjoyed being a Dad as much as we enjoyed him as a father. Please feel free to feedback at anytime and I am glad you are enjoying the posts.

    Take care



Thank you for popping by. I love to receive comments and to make new friends so please say Hi. Pattypan

Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)