Love of Reading

Love of Reading

I acquired my love of reading from my mother.  She was a more voracious reader than me but I inherited, by osmosis and lots of observation, my anything goes reading book style from her. Interestingly, her mother didn’t read at all for pleasure  and preferred games of chance in her spare time.   It doesn’t matter what it is that I like to read, really, so long as there are pages with words on them, or an e-reader with words on it. I especially like to read when I travel in a car or train or on a plane.  I like to read in my sunroom or in my bed late at night (or early in the morning if required to finish it). I even read while taking a bath, stopping occasionally to run more hot water to keep me cozy until I get to a good stopping point or my toes prune.

When the kids were young, I read while they played around me on the floor, only stopping if they grabbed the edge of the spine to get my attention.  I read late into the night so that I could find time to finish the book.  Sometimes I would read a book in one setting.  When I was in college, I majored in liberal arts which required lots of reading but I would still find time for a novel especially if it was something by Stephen King, Alice Walker, Jean Auel or Tom Clancy.  Yes, I started college in the early 80’s.

My mother checked out all of her books from the library.  She read anything that was related to Watergate and the Vietnam War.  She liked autobiographies and historical fiction. She read some mysteries and a few romance novels but really, like me, she would read just about anything.  The books didn’t even have to be good for her to read them or even books.  She read Reader’s Digest, Women’s Day and Family Circle magazines. She taught us about sex by leaving a copy of the Joy of Sex and Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex* (But Were Afraid to Ask) casually on her nightstand.

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Perfect spot for a good read

Growing up in a small town, we were encouraged at a very young age to walk by ourselves to the library to check out books without any adult supervision (except for the watchful eyes of the librarians).  I learned a lot about romance by reading anything with an illustrated picture of a doctor or nurse on the cover.  They would let you check out as many books as you could carry.  One time, on my walk to the library, I was attacked by an angry blue jay and only survived because I threw a hardback book at him and used the rest to duck and cover until I could get a safe distance on down the street.

Books literally save lives.

In general,  from a survey conducted by the National Coalition Against Censorship, kids told us:

● This book made me more empathetic, tolerant, and accepting, of myself and others. It helped me relate better to others and talk to them about things we never would have discussed otherwise.
● This book made me realize that I’m not the only one with problems; it helped me feel more normal and less alone.
● This book saved my life. It helped me confront a serious issue and deal with it.
● This book turned me on to reading. It was the first book I ever read all the way though.
● This book understood me the way no one else does. “I don’t know how I’d have gotten through adolescence without it.”
● This book inspired me to want to do something with my life.

Happy reading.  If you need suggestions of good books to read, you can check out my reading list on Goodreads.

 

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Edinburgh

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is pronounced ed-in-bruh not like with the hard “g” sound heard in Pittsburg. Edinburgh Castle is the most popular tourist attraction in the city.  The castle is situated on a huge rock outcropping called Castle Rock, located in the city center.  This rock formation is due to a volcano eruption over 340 million years ago. The edifice that is known as Edinburgh Castle was built during the 12th century by David I, son of Saint Margaret of Scotland.  So old compared to our short history here in Texas.  There is a chapel located inside the castle walls that is original but all the other structures are modifications and updates made over time.  The towers got taller, then short and taller again.  Walls came down and walls went up.  A real DIY in the making. 

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The views of the city from the castle are worth the seventeen pounds for admission.  We bought our tickets in advance online and it sped up our entry considerably.  We also bought the first ticket time of the day at 9:30 a.m. to help beat the crowds and that too worked to our advantage.  There are lots of walking on deep cobblestones and up steep and narrow passageways inside the castle so wear comfortable shoes.  No high heels.  I was so glad I did my walking challenge last month to build up the strength in my legs and knees.

Walking in my opinion is the best way to see any city but especially Edinburgh.  So many Victorian gothic and medieval structures as well as Grecian columns dot the skyline especially along Princes Street and the Royal Mile.  From the eighth floor of our hotel, I took this photograph from our window looking out towards Edinburgh Castle during the first night of our stay when I was wide awake with excitement about our journey.

During our stay in late September, the weather was chilly but we escaped, for the most part, heavy rains just a steady drizzle a couple of days but otherwise, we had grey skies with short moments of sun breaks.  I wore a thermal vest with a hood the entire time to keep warm over layers of thinner fabrics.  As I mentioned before, be sure to wear comfortable shoes.  I wore Adidas Tubular

church

In Edinburgh, we also visited the Royal Botanic Gardens and the National Museum of Scotland.  The fall colors were spectacular in the gardens and the museum resembles the pictures I have seen of the old Crystal Palace in London.  I highly recommend a fall trip to the Athens of the North — you will miss the festival crowds and the summer warmer weather as we didn’t stay at any hotel that had air conditioning, only fans.  Happy trails.