I picture my mother answering the door to a well-groomed woman in a tweed suit. She asks my mother if she has children and my mother replies that she has a 5-year old. My mother invites her in, the woman tells my mother that a “child who reads is a child who leads,” my mother believes her and plops down over $700 in today’s money for a set of books and supplements to ensure her daughter becomes a leader.
What probably happened was my kindergarten teachers suggested this book set for all their students.
However it happened, I am grateful that my parents paid more than they could afford for this wonderful set of 12 My Book House Books. It begins with a volume of nursery rhymes, moves on to fairy tales, through intermediate stories and finishes with the classics.
It was because of these books that I understood references in books that my peers did not. I knew about the Water Babies and The Back of the North Wind by the time I was in 4th grade. I’d read the story about the Nutcracker ballet in second grade. I learned to love literature at a tender age.
8 thoughts on “184/365 The books that set my (literary) course in life”
Best $700 ($920 CDN) in today’s money ever spent!
What wonderful books. I hope your mother got to read them too.
I don’t think she did. She may have read me the nursery rhymes and I remember her reading some of the stories in the first volume, but I think I just plunged on ahead with the rest. She was probably relieved.
And they look beautiful too!
I have two volumes of this, found in an antique store. They are good!
I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never read Water Babies, but check out this article on Kingsley that I ran in the journal (gulp) 10 years ago!
Click to access 2008-Vol34-No2web.pdf
Those are lovely books. My mother always made sure that we had access to books, were taken to the library, or had the money for the Scholastic sales. But she stopped reading to us as soon as we could read ourselves. She understood that books were powerfully good for us, but didn’t really have room for them in her own life. We took to them like fish to water.
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