Saturday, May 26, 2018

Book Blogger Hop May 25th - May 31st: The 256th Level in Pac Man Is the Unplayable "Split-Screen" Level

Jen at Crazy for Books restarted her weekly Book Blogger Hop to help book bloggers connect with one another, but then couldn't continue, so she handed the hosting responsibilities off to Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The only requirements to participate in the Hop are to write and link a post answering the weekly question and then visit other blogs that are also participating to see if you like their blog and would like to follow them.

This week Billy asks: Do you remember the first book you read by yourself?

There are two ways that one can interpret this question. The first is that it is asking if you have a memory of the first book of any kind that you read, including children's picture books, which is asking for a really old memory for most people. The second is to interpret the question as asking for one's memories of the first novel (or to use the term younger readers tend to use , one's first "chapter book"), which also calls for a fairly old memory, but one that is more recent (and more likely to be remembered).

If one interprets the question in the first manner, I have to say that I have no idea. I can make some educated guesses, but they are just guesses, as I would have been four or five at the time, and memories from when I was that young are a bit hazy. The first book I read by myself may have been Richard Margolis' Wish Again Big Bear, or possibly Gene Zion's Harry the Dirty Dog, or even Judith Kerr's Mog the Forgetful Cat. Or it might have been none of those book. I remember reading them, but my first book may have been something else entirely. Perhaps the first book I read was a Dr. Seuss book like Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now or One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. The point is that I don't really know. All I can really remember are the books I had available to me at the time that I loved.

If one interprets the question in the second way, I am still uncertain as to the answer, but the list of candidates is smaller. The most likely answer is Carol Brink's Pink Motel, because I distinctly remember reading that book when I was in the third grade. The other candidates are Hetty Burlingame Beatty's Blitz, Henry Winterfeld's Castaways in Lilliput, and Mary Nash's Mrs. Coverlet's Magicians, but I am reasonably sure I read those books later, although I could be wrong.

These sorts of assessments are difficult to make at this point due to the fact that once I started reading, I began reading a lot. My parents had a complete set of the Children's Companion Library and I started at one end and worked my way through them all. I started reading pretty much everything I could get my hands on, and by the time I was in fourth grade I was reading the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. I was a regular at my school library, checking out book after book and tearing through all of them - I particularly remember reading Edward Oakeshott's A Knight and His . . . series of books, as well as a lot of historical fiction set in the Roman or Medieval eras. I also discovered Andre Norton at about this time (albeit after I had read Samuel R. Delany's Nova) and read through any of her books that I could get my hands on. The net result of this flurry of reading is that there are a lot of books jumbled together in my memories and trying to figure out which one I read first is kind of a fool's errand.

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