the power of books

(Thank you to those who responded to yesterday's post, which I have now removed for reasons I'll explain in a while to come.)

Currently on my nightstand is Anne of Avonlea, which I must say isn't my favourite of the series, but I've read all the others too recently to go back to them again just yet. I read these books so often because no one else gives me quite the gentle loveliness that LM Montgomery does. I understand the modern desire for something more gritty in children's and adults' literature, but I wish there was more offered to those of us who like dreamy, soulful writing such as this ...

I think the violets are little snips of the sky that fell down when angels cut out holes for the stars to shine through. 




Of course, I also like a dragon or two, and you may be surprised at just how dark LM Montgomery can go.




I admit I have some quite unorthodox views on literature, and I've found myself in trouble for them before. I'll never understand the celebration of graphic violence. I'll also never understand why so many of our modern books for young people use paltry language and impoverished ideas. When I think back to my childhood, books had a deeply profound influence on my psyche and my relationship with the world. They are responsible, even more than my parents and peers, for how I saw things around me : they literally shaped my cognition. And they still echo through the stories I myself tell today - not only the stories that go out to readers, but those which I whisper in the privacy of my own mind.

I'm grateful I had wonderfully rich, compassionate, exciting, thoughtful books to read as a child. I was scrupulously careful to give such books to my own child. I know a lot of parents think I'm too high-minded, but I believe passionately in the power of books to raise the soul - and also to demean it.


5 comments:

  1. The Anne series was my absolute favorite growing up... I must have read each story at least 10 times. My personal fave has always been Anne of the Island; I love the romance between her and Gilbert. Now, though, I think I prefer the Emily of New Moon books... there are far more similarities between Emily and myself than Anne and I. I've actually done several reports on LM Montgomery and read a biography of hers. Sorry for rambling... I just adore her work. :)

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    1. A lot of people feel the same way as you about Emily. I did enjoy those books, but I personally didn't jibe with Emily - I am more an Anne, for certain. Or perhaps more like her daughter Nan, who has the same dreamy imagination but is quieter. I also really love Valancy, although I'm not much like her. That's the one Maud story I find myself day-dreaming about often.

      You probably would have loved the huge book about Maud that I found in the library a while ago, it was full of biographical details, personal photos, different covers of her books, etc. A real treasure trove!

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  2. This is why I love to read the works of Sylvia V Linstead, who like you currently on sells from her website. http://wild-talewort.myshopify.com/

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    1. Oh yes, Sylvia, I'm always raving about her here! :-) My readers must roll their eyes at me sometimes, but I hope my recommendations send some of them her way. I almost never get to buy books and stories, but I hope that, by spreading the word about Sylvia and other indie artists and writers I love, it's a speck of support for them.

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  3. Ooh I used to love these stories to. Me thinks I may need to ferret around in a secondhand shop for the books. When I was in early secondary school I was advised to start reading more contemporary books (I was reading Wodehouse, Christie, amongst others). I remember being quite annoyed but then did find books I enjoyed. However I think there was always something more dreamy about the older works which I realise now I have quite missed.

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