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Reading novels/fiction vs. "self help" books


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Since I was a little kid, I've enjoyed reading mythology, fairytales, and folktales.

The real stuff, not the kid-friendly revisions.... although it did start out with kid-friendly stuff, like The Little Red Hen, The Magic Paint Brush (probably my favorite because it had a dragon), and The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Those were small books that were on the top shelf of the dresser hutch in my bedroom. I remember climbing up to get them.... Any excuse to climb, really. I loved climbing 😂

Next to those books were two larger anthologies of fairy tales, Grimm's, and Anderson's. These were not kids' books. The few pictures they had were not friendly or colorful. The text was very small, and there was even smaller text at the bottom of the pages (footnotes). I think one book was a gift to me from my godmother (her gifts always seemed to be decades ahead of where I was in life). The other book was much older, and tattered. I'm not sure where it came from. I did not control the content or decoration of my bedroom.

For years, I looked at these books without reading them. They were beyond me. And then one day, they weren't. I picked one up and read it cover to cover. Wanting more, I consumed the other book, as well. I must have started reading them when I was 10 or 11, because I already knew what really happened to The Little Mermaid when the cartoon came out in 1989. By the time I was 14, I had read these anthologies multiple times.

I also had a large, kids' book of Greek mythology. I didn't like the colors or the illustrations, so I avoided reading it for quite a while. But I did eventually read it. I ended up buying a book called, Bullfinch's Mythology, and I read that whole thing as well. I was really thirsty for fairytales and mythology. 

At some point, my thirst was satiated. I think it's probably been 20 years since I really thought about a fairytale or actively read one. But the funny thing is, I'm always thinking about them. They're always in the back of my mind, like a shadowy framework for the events of my life. 

Edited by Jibralta
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Jibralta - I read Heidi and also the Little House series as a child. Over and over again.  I couldn't wait to read Little House with my son (despite some of it apparently not being politically correct anymore, sigh) -anyway I can remember the chair[s] I mostly sat in to read them as a young girl -one was an overstuffed one at my grandmother's house and similar chair in my parents' room.  And I ate carrot sticks of course while reading Little House.  

I was thinking last night that I no longer need to professionally network as much -it was one reason I also socialized a lot - both overlap.  I thought a bit about whether I need to stop doing the knee jerk 'socializing" thing (which now is basically phone calls and texting - keeping up with friends and acquaintances) when I "notice" that reading quietly gives me much more sustenance and balance than being around certain people even by phone.  

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8 hours ago, Batya33 said:

I read Heidi and also the Little House series as a child.

I really liked the Little House books. I didn't read them until about 5 years ago, though. My grandmother got them for me when I was a little kid. I just couldn't get into them back then. 

When I finally did read them, I found them fascinating. I immediately ordered and read On the Way Home, and West From Home, because I wanted more. I also ordered and devoured a kids' book that had photos from throughout Laura Ingalls Wilder's life.

I'll most certainly read them again. Always planned to. But now it will be particularly interesting, since I've learned that all of my biological ancestors for the last 200+ years were pioneers. 

I forgot all about Heidi. I loved that story as a kid. There was an old movie that I used to watch with my grandmother.... the memory is so hazy. It didn't occur to me that there would be a book. I'm going to check it out. 

8 hours ago, Batya33 said:

I "notice" that reading quietly gives me much more sustenance and balance than being around certain people even by phone.

Reading quietly is so pleasant. I used to do it all the time, but now it became so easy to waste time in front of a computer.... I forgot all about curling up with a good book. But I started doing it again, recently. Vegging in front of the computer is simply not the same as having a nice, quit read. Nowhere near as good.

I think I might do some book-curling now, in fact.

Edited by Jibralta
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