Posted by: patwogan | June 8, 2010

My Love of Books

We went to Barnes & Noble this morning and I  felt like I could have stayed there all day just browsing.  I have to be careful or I will completely blow the budget there.  It made me think of how I used to spend my time after school when I was in Junior High.

After the divorce, Mom, Walt, and I moved into town.  Mom got a job at Sutton Nurseries east of Independence and Walt went to a country school near the nursery.  I was in Junior High and after school I would walk to the library in Independence and wait for Mom to come and pick me up after she got off work at five.  I don’t really know why this was the arrangement, because the school was closer to our house than the library was.  I suppose Mom didn’t want me to stay by myself and I was somewhat supervised at the library.  I do know that the custodian at the library went to our church.  He and I were good friends and maybe that was the reason.  (His name was Mr. Saferite, and when he died, his wife asked me to sing at his funeral.)

Anyway, I would do my homework and then I would read.  I read books, fiction and non-fiction, periodicals, and newspapers.  I loved books and since I had plenty of time, I read a lot of them.  I know I had a library card and that I checked books out, too, but mostly I read them at the library.

I have probably mentioned it in my blog before now, but I read Gone With the Wind in one week-end at home.  We had a big over-stuffed chair and I would lie back with my feet over one arm of it and my head resting on the other arm and read.   I must have been eleven or so and Dad kept telling me, “Get your nose out of that book and get your chores done.”  I would go and do what I had to do as quickly as possible and then come back to the book.  I loved that story and felt so sorry for all the people in it.  It really didn’t have a happy ending, but it was realistic fiction and that is the genre that I liked then and still like.

One of my favorite books was Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.  Another pretty heavy book for a young person to read, but one again that left me wishing things could have been changed for the characters.   I struggled through Little Women, but never really connected with any of the sisters in it.

It was while I was staying after school at the library that I learned the meaning of the word, pregnant.  I was reading the serialized story “The Voice of the Turtle” in Collier’s magazine and one of the characters was pregnant.  I looked the word up in the big Webster’s Dictionary at the library and found out what it meant.  I can’t believe I didn’t know the meaning until then.  I did learn there were a lot of words in the dictionary that were quite interesting.  Some of them were not to be used in Sunday school, if you get my meaning. ( By the way, I have no idea at this time what the story “The Voice of the Turtle” was about and I am surprised that I still remember the title and what magazine it was in.)

I had the complete set of The Wizard of Oz books…sent to me by Aunt Anna.. and had read them all.  I have often wondered where they ended up after the divorce, but at the time that was the least of my worries.  Probably the least of my parents’ worries, too.  My favorite of those books was the one about Glenda, the good witch.

I was at Barnes & Noble this morning to buy the book Pioneer Women by Joanna Stratton.  Luckily they did not have it in stock and I will now go to and buy it used.  I have read it several times, but wish to read it again now that I have time to enjoy it.

I read two books yesterday.  One was When We Were Colored and the other was Montana 1948.  It was a rainy day and I had the day off so I thought I would read.  If I like a book, I don’t want to put it down until I finish it.  Montana 1948 was definitely one of those books.  I finished it at midnight last night.  Sadly, those books don’t come along too often.

As Kathy and Kristen know, I did sell my copy of Gone With the Wind on Ebay.  But that is another story and one that tells me that my love of books has been passed down to my children.



  1. Hi Mrs. Wogan,

    I am one of Kristen’s blogging friends. I remember reading your blog several months ago, and when my computer crashed… I lost all of my bookmarks and email updates, and I just found your site again through Kristen’s blog. I am glad that I found it because your writing is truly inspirational!

    The imagery and clear details that you share in each post brings the reader in, and when I suddenly reach the end of the post- I read on to the next post… and the next. Each post is like a T.V. episode that everyone can’t get enough of.

    Thank you for sharing your memories with us; it is always a true pleasure to read your posts!

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