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Friday, March 7, 2008

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things...

I am kind of a book abuser.

I don't hardly ever remember to use bookmarks, I just leave the book spine up with the page open. I have left books outside or nearby windows where they have subsequently gotten soaked. I very often read while eating, so my books have their fair share of crumbs and spills. I sometimes read them while I'm drying my hair, so they balance precariously on the bathroom counter, and sometimes get sprayed with water.

I know. I should be nicer to my books. Knowing that I am not the best at taking care of them, I rarely spend much money on them. Garage sales, Amazon, whatever it takes to save a buck.

So I am not necessarily attached to the actual book very often (because I don't treasure them as I should). However, there are a few exceptions.

The first would be a book that is not technically mine. As a youngster, my Dad read The Hobbit to me, and I was hooked on LOTR for life. I remember very clearly the book was illustrated with pictures from the 1977 animated movie, which, every time we would reread the book, he would comment on. He didn't think much of the illustrations, because in his mind, the pictures weren't very good depictions of the Bilbo and Gandalf and Thorin Oakenshield. However, I didn't really mind them.


I remember my dad teaching me what the word slope meant, and learning how big hobbits were ("About your height"). I have a deep emotional attachment to the whole series, of course, but between my dad and I rereading the paperbacks, we've gone through more than one set of LOTR. As far as I know, the illustrated edition of The Hobbit still sits on my parents' shelf, tattered, but hanging on.










Illustrations from the book. On the left, Bilbo smoking his pipe contentedly in front of Bag End. On the right, being talked into an adventure by Gandalf.

Another book I treasure (although again, still at my parent's house) is the children's book Over and Over by Charlotte Zolotow.

This book is about the passing seasons. The little girl learns about special days during the year - Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and her birthday. She learns that there are special celebrations for each day, and that they will get to celebrate these same special days "over and over."

As a kid, I really connected to this book and I used to read it (you guessed it) over and over. I loved the illustrations of the little girl looking for Easter eggs, opening Christmas presents, and dressing up in a party dress for her birthday. Looking online, I don't even know if this book is still in print, but it is a beautiful little treasure.

It introduces a simple concept to children in a comforting way. (Time will pass, and we'll get to do this again!)


Though there are many other books close to my heart, those two top the list. Both are no doubt crumbling away to pieces from overuse, but like I already admitted, I'm hard on my books.

I got the lovely idea for this post from Chris. You can read his original post here, where he talks about some of his favorite books.

8 comments:

Chris said...

Ah yes, The Hobbit. That will always be a favorite of mine too. It's probably my favorite of Tolkien's books. I loved the LOTR trilogy, but there's something special about the Hobbit. I have 4 copies of that one for some reason :p

Nymeth said...

That sounds like such a nice edition of The Hobbit. I mean, the pictures are not like I imagine the characters either (I imagine them more Allen Lee-like), but I can imagine being charmed by them as a child.

Kim L said...

chris-I would totally have 4 copies of The Hobbit too, but my husband has a very nice copy himself, so no need for me to collect more.

nymeth-yeah, as an adult I don't care for them too much anymore, but as a kid, you don't notice the quality of that kind of thing as much.

Love said...

What a good subject for a post!

I'm not very careful of my books either. I'll read in the bath, while I eat, sometimes even whilst walking around outside (which has led to more than one scraped knee =P), but there are three books that I cherish above all others. They are the first three in the Anne of Green Gables series. My grandmother got them when she was a little girl and when I was around ten or so she gave them to me. They were printed in the late 1920s and are falling apart in places, but I love them more than any other book I own.

DesLily said...

wow.. I have that exact hobbit book! It's from the cartoon movie they made .. unfortunately the binding on my copy has given way and many pages are loose.. but I still have it and keep it!!

Andi said...

Thanks for sharing some of your favorite books! Sadly, even after a friggin' MA in Children's Lit, I still haven't read Charlotte Zolotow. I think I'll start with this one!

Kim L said...

love-what a treasure! I love the Anne of Green Gables books, but my set is not nearly as old. How cool!

deslily-how funny that you have the same copy! I didn't think that they were very common. It is unfortunate that the binding isn't very good, huh?

andi-well this book is an excellent children's read. If I end up having kids (besides the puppy) I will have to retrieve this book from my parents.

Alice Teh said...

They look gorgeous! I haven't got myself a copy of The Hobbit yet and one of these days, I will.