Throwback Thursday #39 – Reading Culture and Books

Maggie is hosting Throwback Thursday this week. I have been locked in my scrapbooking room cleaning it out. Sorry for my tardiness. Maggie asks us to think about the kind of reading culture you grew up with. Maggie explains all the possible ways to participate on her blog. The prompt questions are there also.

This week’s prompt is: Reading Culture and Books

My mom was a reader for as long as I can remember. She had paperback books beside her chair, her bedside table, and her spot at the kitchen table. My mom subscribed to the newspaper and read it thoroughly. She always ordered Reader’s Digest Condensed books. I would often sneak one off the bookcase and read it without telling my mom. They were great reading sources I would not have had access to otherwise.

I don’t remember any but my last stepfather, ever reading a book. My last stepdad read western paperbacks all the time. I do remember some of the stepdads reading the Sunday paper. I always thought it would cool to hold up the entire newspaper without having to fold it over.

Reading the newspaper ran in the family. My grandpa read the paper every day. I know my grandma read many novels, but not when we visited. Once, when I visited her, I saw the book Sybil on her nightstand. I told her I had just finished reading it too. She was upset that I had read “such a book.” Mind you, I was married and had 2 kids by then. My grandpa read about history and anything to do with the Dodgers.

My aunt and uncle were also avid readers. They always had books around. The newspaper was read daily. I scoured thrift stores to load up my aunt with her favorite authors’ books. We would take out a large bag of books every time we visited. After reading them she would donate them to the library in her residence.  

As a kid, I read the comics and Dear Abby more than any other part of the newspaper. I didn’t own many books growing up. There wasn’t money for books. When I went to school, the school library was a favorite place of mine. I would usually check out as many as they would allow. The county library was too far away for me to visit.

When I became a mom, I took my kids to the library and story hours as often as I could. I got my first public library card right after I got married. Later, I would take my kids. I wanted to instill the love of books to my daughters. For a long time, my younger daughter didn’t enjoy reading. As an adult, she joined the ranks of book lovers, just like the rest of us.

I don’t remember the first book I read. I do remember getting a book every year on my birthday, from my aunt in New York. It was magical to get hardback books, in the mail no less. I had no memory of this aunt as a child. As an adult, she occasionally came to visit my aunt in LA. I was grateful that she had given me such a wonderful gift as a kid. As a tween and teen, I read comic books all the time. Archie was my favorite. I read comics, books, and magazines every spare minute I had.

When I started my family, I checked out numerous books on parenting. I knew my childhood was less than stellar. I decided to read about parenting in the hopes of doing better for my kids. I have always liked self-help books as well as inspirational books. I’ve read numerous Chicken Soup books. I have numerous shelves of Jewish history and Jewish life books. I have always enjoyed young adult literature. I read whatever books my students might be reading. During the morning reading period, as I signed their reading logs, it was good to be able to discuss the books they were reading. It showed them how important reading was to me also.

I have gifted many SARK books to those I love. They are uplifting and joyful. I have also gifted the small quote books that I adore.  

12 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday #39 – Reading Culture and Books

  1. I have gifted SARK books, too. Books open up a whole new world to children living in less than ideal circumstances.mi am glad you made books available to your children.

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  2. I used to love the Readers Digest Condensed books my aunt used to pass them on to my mother…I don’t read westerns either or love stories unless its a historical one 🙂

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  3. I loved reading Reader’s Digest and the condensed books from cover to cover as a kid. Newspaper columns: Dear Abby and Ann Landers. Comics: Peanuts, Blondie, Nancy, Garfield, Hagar the Horrible, Family Circus. Doctor’s office: Highlights magazines. 😊

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