Books were always my lifeline, my connection with humanity. I didn’t have access to many children’s books when I was growing up. There was an enthralling book of indian tales, which opened up the world of native Americans to me. I read it to pieces and have been ever since fascinated by our native peoples’ stories. I often imagined myself to be a native, living by my wits and knowledge of nature and the land. I also had a book of Mother Goose rhymes. I enjoyed the cadence and rhyming of the little poems. But when I was about ten, our parents bought a set of Encyclopedia Britannica, which included a whole series of Junior edition classics. There were simplified Shakespeare plays, Grimm’s Fairy Tales (which I found to be aptly named), didn’t like them much. I read the whole set. I fell in love with the Bronte sisters, and Edward Rice Burroughs. Later I was enthralled by the Biblical epic books that were popular in the fifties- Quo Vadis, The Robe, The Silver Chalice. My reading was unguided and I was free to select whatever caught my interest. The town librarian and I enjoyed each other’s company. She kept an eye out for whatever might be my current interest. One thing I learned very young- if you have a good book, you are never bored.
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