Ahhh. A summer’s dream

I read an entire book the other day. I read “Sister Noon” by Karen Joy Fowler. It was an incredible book, unputdownable, if you know what I mean.  I’ve been a big fan of Karen’s since I first read “Sarah Canary,” and that book still resonates. Karen is a master wordsmith.

But to take the time to read an entire book in a day is to hearken back to that summer between seventh and eighth grades. I alluded to that odd summer a few days ago, when talking about the biking summer between sixth and seventh grades. The summer between seventh and eighth was when I fell in love with reading. Fiction caught me in its trap and I have been ecstatic about being its prisoner ever since.

That summer I spent entirely in my swimming suit (don’t ask me why). I would wake up in the morning, and with both parents gone to work, I would get up, brush my teeth and then go back to bed and read. I slept with a pile of library books, and when I finished each one in the stack, I put them in the basket of my trusty bike and went back to the library for another pile.

That summer I devoured everything I could find by H.G. Wells, everything by Edgar Rice Burroughs including all the Tarzan Books, the Pellucidar series, and some of the Mars books, everything I could find by Heinlein, Serling, and Ian Fleming, and then became magically transported to the dark side of Edgar Allan Poe.

It was an incredible summer. I read every possible waking moment. With no one to nag me about taking out the garbage or “go outside, it’s a beautiful day,” I had the luxury of feeding my soul.

Perhaps that summer has taken on some mythical aspects in my memory. Perhaps it wasn’t precisely as I remember it, but that’s okay. What I do know is that I read all those books in those short months, and that I have never been the same since.

Would that every child had such an opportunity.


Filed under Reading, Summer

2 responses to “Ahhh. A summer’s dream

  1. capncrusty

    Interesting parallels with Ye Cap’n, only my “transportation to the dark side” was via H P Lovecraft (explains a lot?).

    But to think that some people want to force kids to go to school all year long! Well, this is one adult who does NOT support that vile concept, even though I’d love the more peaceful summer afternoons without all the hollerin’ and screamin’. The 24/7 workaday worries of grownups come soon enough; let the kids have at least one short idyllic season before being forced into a half-century of bitter regimentation, debilitating stress and grinding boredom.

  2. valeford

    I spent the summer after fifth grade mostly at my grandparents house on the farm. My little sister and I changed handlines and played in the fields of tall grass and I read the entire Tarzan series that I found on an upstairs shelf leftover from my Dad’s youth. I was tan and scratched and often dirty and sublimely living in fiction.

    Every once and a while I make a spare week and relive that feeling. This year I drove Tony to Yellowstone via Craters of the Moon and he read Patty Briggs’ fabulous Mercedes the VW mechanic series full of werewolves and magic and life and faith. I love driving along asking where he is now and talking about the books. I got to read in the evening since we were TV free in the trailer. And now we have stories to tell about seeing bison up close and fluffy, a wolf, 2 grizzly bears and assorted other creatures. Lots of hiking, biking, reading and talking, I think it was a perfect vacation.

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