Over the years here at Chinaberry, I’ve grabbed the last copy of many books when they went out of print or when we take them out of the catalog to make room for new ones. Little by little, this accumulation of books has grown to nearly 20 boxes in our warehouse. We call them “Ann’s Grandma Boxes” (for when there might be a grandchild or two to give them to) and going through them every once in a while is a sweet walk down memory lane.
Reading to my children was one of the highlights of my life, not just as a parent, but as a human being. I remember those books more than the ones I grew up with, and there’s a good story about my book experiences as a child.
I was a handful of a kid. Apparently I never stopped moving. And since my birthday fell in mid-October, I had to wait an extra year before entering Kindergarten. I can’t even imagine my mother’s relief when naptime finally rolled around, but needless to say, it was always too soon for me! The only way she could get me to settle down was to lie on the bed with me and read a picture book — one of only several that we owned. Being read to always worked like magic and within minutes, I was sound asleep. The thing is, to this day, it takes a lot to keep me awake when I read a book because (I’m assuming) the opening of a book signals some part of my brain that it is now time to sleep. Naptime (not even bedtime) was the only time I was read to. Oh wait. There was a Golden Christmas Carol book in the house that I would grab when I saw my father arrive home from work. In the dead of summer, no less. Dragging him immediately to his easy chair (not even giving him a chance to settle in), plopping on his lap, and singing our way through the book was my idea of heaven. The neighbors were probably shaking their heads at the strains of “Silent Night” coming from our house in July.
I suppose it’s strange that the founder of a company that has become known for its discerning selection of children’s books for 28 years was seldom read to as a child. Go figure. But just remembering some of those sweet and sleepy times made me think it might be fun for others to pipe in with their favorite books from childhood and the early reading years. So…let’s hear ‘em! I’ll bet you anything you’ll find some old (book) friends you’d forgotten about when you read others’ lists.