Childhood Reading

Memory of the Day: Thinking about reading today. Could be because my TV season is over for the summer and there isn’t anything I am interested in watching tonight so I’ll retire to our back porch and read.
 
Books were always pretty readily available at our house. Brother Wayne was the real reader in the family, well, along with Mom. He read every night in bed. I just went to sleep. I know all of this because until I graduated from high school and went to college, Wayne was my roommate. I imagine all his reading was what inspired him to become an author. He now has 4 books in print, with one in progress. He also has two of his books on audio books. Great reads for anyone, but written to inspire young boys.
 
My earliest reading memories were from 4th through 6th grades. I know we did the “Fun with Dick and Jane” stuff in 1st and 2d grades, but I really don’t remember much about them except “See Spot run.” In Mrs. Smith’s 4th grade we were introduced to “Singing Wheels” a great little reader that was set in the 1800s in the mid west. The series was strong on transportation images. “Singing Wheels” focused on stagecoach travel. Any of you remember “Gentlemen lean to the left.” That is what the stagecoach driver would instruct the passengers to do as the coach went around a sharp right turn. I guess female passengers were not heavy enough to balance the coach. In Mrs. Lee’s 5th grade, we move on to “Engine Whistles.” You can likely guess that this book was focused on trains and was still set in the 19th century. Finally, in Mrs. Campbell’s 6th grade we went to Runaway Home. All I really remember about that book was that by the end we had progressed to air travel in the 20th century. Hope the photos bring you some happy memories.
 
I actually loved the little blue biographies we got out of the library. I called them the Young Books. I remember reading “Young Abe Lincoln.” “Young Kit Carson,” and many others. What adventures they made me think of.
 
At home we read a number of series. One of my favorites was the Tom Swift Jr. Books. The book photo shown here was my favorite, “Tom Swift Jr. and His Giant Robot.” Brother Wayne was an avid fan of the Hardy Boys. But, then he was an avid fan of anything in print pretty much. We both read the “Hardy Boys” and “Tom Swift Jr.” One we both loved was “The Walton Boys Rapids Ahead.” Both the Hardy Boys and the Walton Boys were brothers, which appealed to us. We considered ourselves the Grant Boys.
 
In high school, the literature became much more laborious and cumbersome. I memorized, and can still recite, Marc Antony’s soliloquy, “Friends, Romans, Countrymen…” and MacBeth’s “Is this a dagger I see before me…” I actually tolerated Shakespear, but could not abide “Silas Marner.”
 
In college, I stopped reading for fun, except for the occasional magazine article (I promise it was for the articles).I had plenty of reading to do just to try to pass courses (which, sadly, did not happen in every case). I became interested in reading history, particularly Military History while studying ROTC.
 
Today, I enjoy reading military history, biographies, autobiographies, and personal growth books. I have made friends with a couple of authors that I really like (other than Wayne, of course). Ernest Dempsey writes Clive Cussler type adventure books, and Gregory C. Randall writes mysteries. I particularly like his Tony Alfano mysteries set in 1930s Chicago.
 
My favorite author is brother Wayne Grant and my favorite books are in his “Longbow” series. I’ve read all 4 books in print now as well as listened to “Longbow” on audio. Looking forward to his next book. Check out his web page http://www.waynegrantbooks.com and his Longbow FB page.
Having trouble inserting images so if you need to see the photos I refer to , check out my FB page Ken Grant. I’ll keep working on getting the photos here.
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