Book Memories

Maurna Rome Halloween costume The Four PuppiesMy first mem­o­ry of falling in love with books takes me way back to the ten­der age of five. The lit­tle “Gold­en Book Gold­en Hours Library Clock House” that I received for Christ­mas that year helped me become the pas­sion­ate read­er I am today. I cher­ished the col­lec­tion of twelve lit­tle books and one in par­tic­u­lar was extra spe­cial; The Four Pup­pies. It’s a sweet sto­ry of grow­ing, learn­ing, chang­ing sea­sons and find­ing some­thing to cel­e­brate along the way. It’s filled with opti­mism, wis­dom, and the love­li­ness of shar­ing life’s ups and downs with oth­ers who care about you. A few years ago I replaced my orig­i­nal Gold­en Book clock house (which was lost long ago) with what is now con­sid­ered a “vin­tage” collector’s item. I even fash­ioned a Hal­loween cos­tume to hon­or the book that first filled my heart with book love.

Gold­en Books Clock House

My first mem­o­ry of dis­cov­er­ing a read­ing com­mu­ni­ty takes me way back to the sum­mer just after my sixth birth­day. I eager­ly wait­ed for the Carnegie Stout Pubic Library book­mo­bile to roll into our mobile home park each week.  For me, it was a mag­i­cal ves­sel on wheels. The library ladies (as I used to call them) who rode along with all those fine books always wait­ed patient­ly for lit­tle girls like me who took longer than most to make their selec­tions from the rows and rows of options. My fond­ness for book­mo­biles will stay with me forever.

My first mem­o­ry of long­ing for a book takes me way back to sixth grade when the wait­ing list at my school library for Are You There, God? It’s Me, Mar­garet stretched for weeks and weeks. I still remem­ber the thrill of final­ly get­ting my hands on that book. I felt like I had found a friend who strug­gled with the same ques­tions and inse­cu­ri­ties that I was expe­ri­enc­ing, which many 12-year-old girls were expe­ri­enc­ing. Mar­garet would join my list of oth­er “book friends,” Ramona, Pip­pi, and Ency­clo­pe­dia Brown, to name just a few.

As a teacher and a grand­ma, I am intent on try­ing to pro­vide these mem­o­rable expe­ri­ences: falling in love with books at an ear­ly age, dis­cov­er­ing a nur­tur­ing read­ing com­mu­ni­ty, and long­ing for a cer­tain book that brings a new friend into your life. These three sig­nif­i­cant book mem­o­ries help define me as a read­er. They form the foun­da­tion for my life-long love of read­ing and they are three of the rea­sons why I am so pas­sion­ate about lit­er­a­cy. If only all chil­dren could make mem­o­ries of this kind, I am cer­tain the world would be a bet­ter place.

If I win the lot­tery one of these days, you might just see me pulling into your neigh­bor­hood in my very own book­mo­bile. Now that would be the tick­et for cre­at­ing book mem­o­ries far and wide!

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Amy Robillard
5 years ago

Four Pup­pies” is a lit­tle (lit­er­al­ly!) for­got­ten gem…that I have not for­got­ten. It is one of my favorites, too! The illus­tra­tions blew me away as a child, and still do.

David LaRochelle
5 years ago

What a great cos­tume, Mau­r­na! You look like a lit­tle book elf! I fond­ly remem­ber run­ning up the stairs to the chil­dren’s sec­tion of our pub­lic library each vis­it and dash­ing to the “S” shelf to see if there was a new Dr. Seuss book avail­able. And if there was, Oh Hap­py Day! Such a good memory.