Friday, November 07, 2008

Another bookish tag - hijacked from somewhere

How old were you when you learned to read and who taught you?
I cant remember when I learnt to read… or when I started reading, for that matter. All I remember is that I’ve always loved books. As for who taught me – taking a wild guess, I’d say it was my parents!

Did you own any books as a child? If so, what's the first one that you remember owning? If not, do you recall any of the first titles that you borrowed from the library?
I owned loads of books. The first one I remember is a Richard Scarry picture dictionary, and the first word I learnt was “aardvark”. A is for aardvark. Pretty cool. I absolutely loved that book to bits… the cartoons were so detailed and there was so much to look at, so many little touches that were an absolute delight and make me smile even now. I would read that dictionary like a story book, and every time I came across my favourite illustrations, it would be like meeting an old familiar friend. I loved that book!

From the library… well, I used to go with my dad to the British Council Library in Dar es Salaam and get one book from his quota (kids weren’t allowed membership then) of three… and it was never enough. I remember reading an entire series of fairy tales/myths, each book named after a colour - “The Green Story Book”, “The Yellow Story Book”, “The Lilac Story Book” and so on. The lilac one was my favourite because I learnt a new colour and it turned out to be a pretty one!

What's the first book that you bought with your own money?
Jeez… not a clue. If you consider birthday money to be “my own money”, then the first book I bought was probably “The Hamlyn Book of Great Children’s Stories” – all excerpts from various novels, some of which I managed to track down when I got older because ALL those excerpts were intriguing! I should really source that book, so that I have the complete list of books by authors whose names I’ve forgotten. It was a long time ago, that book.

Were you a re-reader as a child? If so, which book did you re-read most often?
I was a re-reader, I am a re-reader, I will always be a re-reader. Which book? Probably half a library’s worth. There isn’t any one book, there are loads of books… but if you define “child” as less than 7 years old, then I’ll go for Richard Scarry again.

What's the first adult book that captured your interest and how old were you when you read it?
I was in the 3rd or 4th standard, I suppose, and it was a book about a long-distance truck driver whose cargo was a highly explosive material – nitroglycerine, I think. What I remember best from that book was the bit about how the drivers had to get across a long road that had a series of small ridges all the way (maybe it was set in some wasteland?). Nitro was not meant to be jiggled about (it was highly explosive material), so bad roads meant sudden death from sudden explosions. So what our hero did was get the truck to the optimum speed which would make the tyres on the truck “skim” the ridges without bumping the cargo, and then maintain that speed all the way through to his destination. He managed it the first time around, but died at the end. I didn’t like that ending. I dont remember the name of the book or the author, unfortunately.

Another adult book I read around that time and remember vividly, both book and author, was Arthur Hailey’s “The Final Diagnosis”. Guess I was rather precocious when it came to reading matter!

Are there children's books that you passed by as a child that you have learned to love as an adult? Which ones?
Hmm… all the books that I loved as a child, I mostly still love as an adult. I don’t think I bypassed any book that came my way, except for Enid Blyton’s “Secret Seven” series which I hated as a child and loathe as an adult. I cant think of any kids books that I didn’t like as a kid but learned to love as an adult.


Note: Anybody who wishes to do this tag, consider yourself volunteered! Please let me know you've done it, b'cos I'd love to read your post.

5 comments:

Kamini said...

How nice that you are also a Richard Scarry admirer! I discovered his books when my kids were small (I don't think they were available in India when I was growing up) and could spend hours pouring over all the lovely, whimsical details.
Kamini.

Berry Blog said...

Hey it's charlie the old man teacher in Maine again. Interesting question. My step-grandmother taught me in the back seat of the car when My dad was courting my stepmom. That's all I ever learned in the back seat of a car.
Different relatives read to me every night before bedtime. The Uncler Remus stories and Peter Rabbit were my most memorable. This was in the early 1940s and research in educaton didn't know about the importance of pre-reading skills.

umm oviya said...

will do this soon, meanwhile, a query for you on my blog. please oblige.

Teesu (very very Indian, very very good) said...

I loved the red, yellow and blue story books:) Sigggh. WHAT would life be without books?

Shruthi said...

Tag done. - http://nychthemeron.blogspot.com/2008/11/reading-and-books-tag.html