The Story of My Childhood as Told in Photos of Books: Part 2

The Project

As a result of a spring-fever cleaning urge, I recently sorted and cataloged my books using the Libib app and website. Near the end of my project, I had a nice time going through a large box of books that I kept from my childhood.

Just from looking at the books, it was fun and enlightening to see who I was when I was young, and to think about the ways I have and have not changed.

Vintage Books

These children’s novels and basic readers hail from the school days of my parents and grandparents.

A collection of vintage children's novels and basic readers

I must have come with an innate liking for history and “vintage” things, because I loved reading all of these books during my own elementary school years.

Note the five rather battered, yet lovely green hardback Bobbsey Twins novels—plus a sixth, which is missing its cover. These novels all have copyright dates from the 1920s and 1930s. In these stories, the main characters are two sets of fraternal twins (Bert, Nan, Freddie, and Flossie), all siblings, whose dialogue includes words such as “Hark!” and whose parents are always referred to as Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey.

I also enjoyed reading the Dick and Jane and Alice and Jerry basic readers, which were full of stories about the respective title characters’ adventures growing up in the New England countryside. I remember being fascinated by the descriptions and illustrations in one chapter of Neighbors on the Hill as Dick and Jane went maple sugaring in the autumn.

The Family Treasury of Children’s Stories in three volumes were also a favorite, as they contained all kinds of now-politically-incorrect stories ranging from fairy tales and nursery rhymes to accounts of famous men and women in history, extracts from English literature, and retellings of classical mythology.

I credit many of these books with instilling in me a very 1950s sense of patriotism and optimism that persists to this day.

The Story of My Childhood as Told in Photos of Books: Part 1

The Project

As a result of a spring-fever cleaning urge, I recently sorted and cataloged my books using the Libib app and website. Near the end of my project, I had a nice time going through a large box of books that I kept from my childhood.

Just from looking at the books, it was fun and enlightening to see who I was when I was young, and to think about the ways I have and have not changed.

The Horse-Crazy Kid

Clearly, I not only loved riding our family horses when I was young (I belonged to a 4-H club called the Portneuf Posse), I loved reading books about horses. The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley was an especial favorite, but I would read any book about a girl (or guy) and her (or his) horse.

A photo of kid and young adult books about horses

The Kid Who Loved Old West and Outdoor Adventure

At one point in my youth—(4th grade was Idaho History year and we played a lot of Oregon Trail in the school computer lab)—I would have gladly time-traveled to live in the 1800s of the American Old West. My absolute favorite book from this category was Moccasin Trail by Eloise Jarvis McGraw.

I also loved reading outdoor adventure and survival stories, and if you had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have replied that I wanted to be a hermit and live alone off the land in the mountains.

A photo of kid and young adult books about the Old West

Striving for Simplicity

Here is a lovely example of visual irony that made me smile:

A sign reading "Simplify" is almost covered by a stack of paperwork

Further irony—Hanging below the “Simplify” sign, covered by the stack of paperwork, is a great quotation:

“Simple, clear purpose and principles give rise to complex and intelligent behavior. Complex rules and regulations give rise to simple and stupid behavior.”
—Dee Hock, American businessman

As the photo illustrates, sometimes one falls behind in the quest for simplicity. However, there is always hope:

“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?”
—Robert Browning, English poet

 

“The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”
—Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia

In my own quest to simplify, clarify, and organize my mind and my life, I’ve found David Allen’s Getting Things Done model and method to be very helpful.

 

Three in One Day!

My inner copyeditor was gleeful when it came across three fun real-life errors in one day!

A Perspective on the Prospective Employee

This paragraph is from a work email introducing an employee taking on a new position.

An email conflating "prospective" and "perspective."

Prospective—an adjective meaning “likely to happen at a future date; concerned with or applying to the future.”

Perspective—a noun meaning “a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.”

In our regional dialect, many people likely pronounce “perspective” as “prospective.” I suppose we all know what is meant—even if we don’t know how to spell it or say it.

An Unusual Date

This is a flyer from our local ski resort:

A flyer announcing an event on January 23th

The date is pronounced “twenty-thirth,” I imagine.

The Curious Case of the Canine Dog

This paragraph is from a news article about electronics-sniffing police dogs.

A news article conflating "canine dog" and "K-9" dog

I can only imagine that the officer quoted in the article was referring to a “K-9 dog”—which we all know is a term for a police dog—and the reporter recorded this as “canine dog”—which just looks redundant and silly.

New-to-me Christmas Songs

I was pleased to come across these new-to-me Christmas songs during the past week!

“The Light of Christmas Morn” by Sarah Hart

I love this song and I am resolved to learn the beautiful lyrics so that I can sing it to myself while driving.

Celtic Woman also performed a good, but abbreviated version of this song, with several verses left out.

“Christ is Born” by the Carpenters

When I bought a new vehicle earlier this year, I discovered in the CD player a Carpenters Christmas album that the previous owners had forgotten! “Christ is Born” was a Christmas song I’d never heard before.