Monday, May 14, 2007

Confessions II

Some time between middle school and high school, someone gave me a copy of Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. It became my favorite book although I did not know anyone who had a horse, nor did I ride one until I became an adult. It was a good story with a sad ending--perfect for a middle school girl.

As a high schooler, I became a library aide and plunged into checking out as many books as I could carry. The high school library was not large, nor particularly well-stocked, as I have said. So my reading was not broad, nor deep. This is where I read all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. I remember reading some semi-religious books by Thomas B. Costain and Lust for Life by Irving Stone. Any "good" literature or classic lit was the province of textbooks--I never read, for example, the Iliad or any Greek lit, nor really any world literature--the school texts contained very little. We read Shakespeare, Chaucer, and essays, poetry, etc. We were never assigned extra books outside the text as is done today. My knowledge of great literature was sadly lacking when I went to college.

Paperbacks were not ubiquitous until much later, but I did begin buying some for college assignments and adding them to my library. My budget was very tight, so I could not afford many. I would take them to work to read at the switchboard where I worked at Foremost Dairies. It didn't take me long to tire of long Victorian novels and Greek epics, so I went on to other reading, mostly mysteries of the Agatha Christie variety. I never liked reading romance fiction. My tastes turned to history and biography as I took some of the history courses for my minor in history.

After graduating, one of my first jobs (after Levelland where I taught reading) was Eula High School as the English teacher of all grades. It seems the new English teacher immediately became the librarian, so that is where I first practiced library science. Sadly the library was very small--almost book closet size. The superintendent had a penchant for buying books from traveling salesmen--mostly remainders. These were usually black and white science books no self-respecting kid would read. Donated National Geographics, Readers Digests and Life Magazines lined the shelves. What a mess!! And I had very little expertise to deal with it. ( I need to write another blog about my life in libraries).

About that time, ACU was offering library science classes being brought to the campus from North Texas State University, and I began to take those. I soon became a certified school librarian with a "vast" knowledge of good books and a sad realization of about all the books I had missed.

Through the years, I have collected many good children's books, biographies, poetry collections, and a good array of religious and inspirational books by great writers.

It has been fun and rewarding, and I don't see myself coming out of this addiction any time soon. I do hope you three will love reading and share my love for books.

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