Reading unlocks many doors

June 18th, 2009    Author: Staff Report    Filed Under: Opinion

It was the summer of 1961, I was 10 years old and my interest in books was just beginning to blossom. My mother suggested that I read a book called “Anne of Green Gables” and from the minute I opened the book, I fell in love with Anne. She was funny, her story was sad and yet hopeful, she was an eternal optimist and always into mischief.

I spent that summer on Prince Edward Island with Anne, her adoptive family and her friends. Lucy Maud Montgomery brought enjoyment, laughter and tears to me that summer through her series of Anne books. She wrote seven books beginning with Anne as a child and taking her readers into Anne’s adulthood. My love of books has continued for a lifetime because of Montgomery’s gift of storytelling.

My aunt Lillian, who lived next door to us, had the entire series of books and I borrowed them from her that summer.

I was overjoyed recently to see my grandchildren with their little noses stuck in books. Each one of them has a different idea of what a “good read” is, but they are reading and that is a wonderful thing.

Books can take us to faraway places, they can teach us details about plant life, the human body or a mechanical process. We can experience the world through the voices of those who have sailed the oceans, climbed mountains and lived in rain forests. If it has been done, there is a book about it.

I have always enjoyed reading books in a series, maybe it dates back to my “Anne” days. When I read a series, I become more involved in the lives of the people on the pages. It’s almost like they become my friends.

I have read the Mitford series, by Jan Karon and am looking forward to the second book in the Father Tim Novels. Karon has a unique way of looking at the world and I enjoy her work.

As I write this article, I just realized how great it is when a series comes to life by a film maker. In 1986, PBS aired the film “Anne of Green Gables” produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. According to Wikipedia, it received one of the highest rankings of any genre ever to air on CBC. Anne stepped off the pages of the books I read as a child and right into my living room. It was great.

The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis, is another series that held me spellbound while reading it. The first in a series of films, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, was released in 2005 and followed the book to a tee.

Sometimes it’s impossible to read as much as I want, but a series by author Janette Oke was recently filmed under the direction of Michael Landon Jr. I highly recommend the “Love Comes Softly” series about the lives of a pioneer family with solid Christian values. I didn’t read the books, but the films are based on that series.

I would never have thought that a novel about quilters could be interesting, but Jennifer Chiaverini has written a series of books about the Elm Creek Quilters. She tells stories not only about today, but historical settings of some of the quilts and those who crafted them. I’m hoping they make a series of movies about these books.

There is a lot of talk lately about the new book wave of the future, many books are now available on Kindle. They can be downloaded digitally and read anywhere on the handy-dandy e-book reader. I haven’t tried reading books this way, it’s still kind of costly, but if it works for some, why not?

When my aunt Lillian died last year, I made one request to my cousins. Could I please have the “Anne of Green Gables” books? They are on my bookshelf now and I’m going to invite my granddaughters to borrow them.

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