Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Bookish Memories

         

"Top Ten Tuesday" is an original feature/weekly meme created on the blog "The Broke and the Bookish". This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at "The Broke and the Bookish". It is now hosted by Jana from That Artsy Reader Girl.

Since I am just as fond of them as they are, I jump at the chance to share my lists with them! Have a look at their page, there are lots of other bloggers who share their lists here.

This week's topic is Bookish Memories

(Share stories of your reading life as a child, events you’ve gone to, books that made an impression on you, noteworthy experiences with books, authors you’ve met, etc. Reminisce with me!)

We had a somewhat similar topic last year in the Classics Club: The Classic Meme 2.0 - Classics we read as a child. But since this is about any kind of bookish memories, I didn't include all of those in here.

* * *

I remember being able to read a little before I started school. Letters always fascinated me. I belonged to one of the first students in our state that were not taught reading letter by letter but with words. My first sentence was "Da ist Heiner". (There is Heiner.) Unfortunately, I couldn't find a picture of the books that introduced me to my biggest adventure in life. It's been a while, I started school in the sixties. (So, if anyone can ever tell me what the title of this was, please let me know, I'll be eternally grateful.)

My first memory of a book I owned was when I was seven. I had just had my appendix removed and my parents brought me "Heidi". I still have that copy today (with the cover from the picture).

Spyri, Johanna "Heidi" (GE: Heidis Lehr- und Wanderjahre + Heidi kann brauchen, was es gelernt hat) - 1880/81

Of course, we had to read a lot of books in school and I was happy about that. One of my favourites was "Pole Poppenspäler" (
Paul the Puppeteer) but I also loved the following:

Droste-Hülshoff, Annette von "The Jew's Beech" (GE: Die Judenbuche) - 1842
Hauff, Wilhelm "The Heart of Stone (aka The Cold Heart or the Marble Heart) (GE:
Das kalte Herz) - 1837
Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim "Nathan the Wise" (GE: Nathan der Weise) - 1779
Storm, Theodor "Paul the Puppeteer" (GE: Pole Poppenspäler) - 1874

The next memories are my school library and our little church library in the village. I borrowed any book I could get but I especially remember this one because it was one of the first "adult books" I read and I read all the books by Mary Scott that I could get a hold of afterwards.

Scott, Mary "What Does It Matter" - 1966

And then I found Pearl S. Buck and with her my love for China and the whole wide world. This was my first one:

Buck, Pearl S. "Peony" - 1948


And then there are the books I read with my children, all of them bringing back wonderful memories. I only mention the series they loved so much, not all the individual books, most of them can be seen on my list of children's books.

Berenstain, Stan and Jan "The Berenstain Bears" - 1962ff.
Bridwell, Norman "Clifford" - 1963-2015
Brown, Marc "Arthur's Nose" - 1976
Carle, Eric "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" - 1969
Civardi, Anne; Cartwright, Stephen "Things People Do" - 1986
Davis, Lee "P.B. Bear" - 1990s
Deary, Terry "Horrible Histories"
- 1993ff.    
Handford, Martin "Where's Wally?" (aka Where's Waldo) - 1987
Hargreaves, Roger "Mr. Men"
- 1971ff.
Pope Osborne, Mary "Magic Tree House" Series - 1992ff.
Rowling, J.K. "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" - 1997
Scarry, Richard "What Do People Do All Day"
- 1968 et al.


A B C

But where would we be without the alphabet? We coulnd't read anything if it wasn't there. And I've always been very interested in that.

I learned several types of spelling/writing. First, it was the Sütterlin script, a German alphabet developed from the old German Kurrent, also known as cursive or German script. It was easier to write with the new pointed nibs than the old style. Sütterlin was taught in German schools from 1915 to 1941, so when my parents went there. Because it was still very current when I went to school in the sixties, my mother taught me how to read and write it. My parents always said it was weird how Hitler had always insisted on everything being "German" yet he had forbidden the German script and introduced the Latin one in Germany. Yes, he was an idiot and didn't even follow his own ideas properly.

The next alphabet I learned was Bulgarian. I went there for an Esperanto congress in 1978 and I have always tried to learn a little about a language, wherever I go. I usually can say Hello and Goodbye, Please and Thank You. At least. And read the letters. Well, I haven't been to East Asia. Anyway, Bulgaria uses the Cyrillic alphabet, actually, it was the first country who did this. And since there are only a few letters that differ from the Russian alphabet, I can read that, as well. Doesn't mean I understand it, I read it just the way as I would read Finnish or Hungarian, I recognize the letters but not the words.

Then there was Hebrew and Arabic which I dipped into during our participation in an Esperanto congress in Israel in 1986. I can still recognize the letters and read a few words.

And, last but not least, I learned some of the letters in school, not in a language class but I am sure you all did learn the same letters as I did. I'm talking about the Greek alphabet. While we use alpha and omega also in church, we do use at least the first four or five letters in mathematics to define angles. And then there are the letters you hear in US high school and college movies. Their fraternities and sororities usually have three letters to choose from: Delta-Kappa-Nu, Lambda-Sigma-Phi … whatever. I went to Greece with my son's year group in 2005 and, as with all the other spellings, I went and extended my knowledge of their alphabet before going and therefore could practise it while there.


Word cloud made with WordItOut 

I have put together the title of my blog and the word "bookblog" in those alphabets. Unfortunately, most pages don't recognize the Sütterlin script, so here is another picture with their alphabet.

And what are your memories of being introduced to reading?

28 comments:

  1. Love these memories - I remember a rather sentimental TV adaptation of Heidi which did not encourage me to read the books! And the alphabets... wonderful!
    These are my TTT Bookish Memories... hope you get the chance to share.

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    1. Thanks, Michael. Oh, I know those adaptations, yes, quite sentimental. Then there was a "cutsy" Japanese animation series, I doubt that would have encouraged you to read them. But for me, my very first book, it will always be something special.
      Thanks for your link. See you there.

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  2. Beautiful memories. I'm fascinated with your explorations into the various alphabets, too.

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    1. Thanks, Deb. It just came up when reminiscing aobut books, don't really know how I got there. LOL. I have always loved alphabets, no matter whether I could read them or not. And made up my own for secret messages between me and my friends in school. ;)

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  3. I just remember my dad reading to me hours, and pointing at the words as he read and eventually—I think I was around four—the shapes started to make sense. It was very organic.

    I loved learning about Sütterlin script…I studied German for six years, but never learned it. Fascinating!

    My post is here— https://fiftytwo.blog/2021/11/30/ttt-bookish-confessions/

    Happy TTT!
    Lori
    https://fiftytwo.blog

    ReplyDelete
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    1. How lovely, that's certainly a nice memory, Lori. Someone mentioned on another blog that they don't remember their parents ever reading to them and, to be honest, neither do I. Maybe because it's so long ago or maybe because parents didn't read much to their children. But my parents both liked reading, so that's certainly one of the reasons I love reading so much.

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  4. Clifford, The Magic Treehouse series and The Very Hungry Caterpillar all bring back good bookish memories. :) Thanks for sharing!

    My post: https://pagesandpaws.com/2021/11/30/ttt-bookish-memories-and-coming-home/

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    1. You're welcome, Kristine. To me, those are lovely memories with my children, not of my childhood. But they are probably even greater memories. Thanks for your link, of course, I'll visit you, as well.

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  5. Love that you know so many different alphabets. Also, it's great that your bookish memories include books you read with your children!

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    1. Thanks, Lindsey, it's just something that interests me so much and I had the feeling that goes with reading.

      And I am so happy that I could pass on my love for books to my children.

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  6. I found it fascinating to read the part of your post about alphabets. I was a Russian language major in college, so am familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet.

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    1. That's great, Lisa. Unfortunately, I don't understand Russian, I can only read it. A Russian friend once wrote something down for me and asked me to read it. I could read it but I didn't know what it meant. She and her other Russian friends thought that fascinating. LOL

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  7. Replies
    1. Thanks, Lark. Bookish memories are always the best.

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  8. Heidi has been one of my all time faves ever since I read it as a child. Happy reading! My TTT https://readwithstefani.com/ten-books-i-have-a-strong-emotional-attachment-to/

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    1. Thanks, Stefani. I'm happy to have found another fan.

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  9. From the books you listed as favorites with your children, you mentioned some that were favorites with mine as well: Clifford, Mr. Men, and Richard Scarry's books.

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!
    https://readbakecreate.com/unusual-books-i-read-in-high-school/

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    1. I think those were favourites of most children, Pam. And why shouldn't they. Such lovely stories.

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  10. I have some good bookish memories from our read alouds over many years. I've always been a good reader but only remember one book I read when I was about 12 - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I know I read a lot of Enid Blyton & my Mum & her Mum were always reading so it was modelled for me from a young age.

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    1. So true, Carol, that must have been my biggest instigation, seeing my parents read. I mentioned above that I don't remember being read to. And the only reason I know about "Heidi" is because I was in hospital and that is something you don't forget so easily.

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  11. I was obsessed with Horrible Histories when I was a kid, I'm pretty sure they're at least partially responsible for my doing a History degree! Naturally I also loved Harry Potter as a kid, like most kids who grew up in the 2000s!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2021/11/30/top-ten-tuesday-344/

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    1. Great, Jo. You must be around the age of my kids because neither Horrible Histories nor Harry Potter were around during my youth.

      And both my sons loved history and would have loved to study it but decided to do politics instead. Better job chances. LOL. In any case, I also put that down to Horrible Histories because the politics of today will be the histories of tomorrow.

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  12. What wonderful memories! The children's books bring back a lot of memories as they're the same ones I used to read to my kids. They especially loved the Arthur series (the books and the t.v. series), Clifford, and anything by Eric Carle. I was a huge Berenstain Bears fan as a kid. I always used to dream of living in a treehouse like them!

    Happy TTT!

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    1. Thanks, Susan. Yes, book memories are the best, especially if we are able to share them with kids.

      Of course, I didn't know the Berenstain Bears as a kid but I remember reading something about a tree house and dream of living in one, as well.

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  13. Lovely memories! I also remember reading "Heidi" over and over again. "What Do People Do All Day" is a wonderful book! :)

    Thanks for visiting my TTT list!

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    1. They are, Lectrice. Looks like I'm not the only one who loved "Heidi". And, of course, I read it lots and lots of times, after all, I didn't have as many books as we have today.

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  14. That's neat you still have that Heidi.

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    1. I still have a few memories from when I was little, Greg. My parents moved the last time when I was three and nothing was ever thrown away, so I still found a few things after their death. But "Heidi" was one of the first books I took with me when moving out.

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