Now, re-read the above question. The first ‘book’ you ever ‘picked up’; not read, or bought, or borrowed from the library. I can’t remember and I am confident that you can’t either.

80% of you will answer The Bible; quite confidently and proudly, but really?

I don’t remember a ‘book’ in my life until I was given a small, well used book in the 2nd grade, in Miss O’Sullivans class at Mary S. Doten. It was “Fun With Dick and Jane” I ran with Dick, talked with Jane, and tossed a ball to Spot. I learned to READ there, but didn’t learn WHAT to read. A couple of grade later I find my self eagerly waiting for the newest My Weekly Reader, to be given out in class. It had all kinds of neat stuff, promises of things to come; Sputnik, and our attempts to achieve space ‘superiority’. Three or four times a year we would receive a small pamphlet from the Scholastic Book Club. We would take it home and order a book or two, giving the order blanks to our teacher. A few weeks later it would be book club day. The teacher would open the large cardboard box, and would start taking out dozens of paper-bound books. The teacher would call out your name and you would go up and get your books. More often than not there would be one, sometimes two books you didn’t order, but your teacher added two more books she thought (correctly) that you might like. Teacher’s are like that, yeah, they are.

In 1959, my mother and I enter the State Building on the Center St entrance and proceed to the Washoe County Library. It is our only library, the Carnegie Library had been demolished and the new Post Office sits in it’s place. I get my first ‘official’ ID; a small manila card, it has a small metal address-o-graph plate attached to it. It is my Libary card. I can check out two books at a time. I check out two books. We take a walk through the Nevada Historical museum before we leave. I check out the six legged, two headed calf, and the mummified girl indian baby, in her papoose.

I still have my Washoe County Library card. I currently have 32 books checked out. Two are presidential biographies, McKinley and Grant. There is one on the history of color, another on the way our senses interpret the colors we see. Two more are True Crime books. And the other I forget.

In the 60’s, my mom was a ‘hook’ for a door-to-door salesman. Not a ‘MARK’ but a hook. A Mark would by anything, a ‘Hook’ was more restrained. Fortunately for me she made a purchase that molded me into who I am. The purchase is a complete set of “The Encyclopedia ( thank you Jiminey Cricket) Americana. A bonus is a 15 volume “Book of Knowledge”. I pour through the latter. I check out the encyclopedia, reading every at least the heading of each subject. The Book of Knowledge I devour.

During my reading, I progress three grade levels in what they “teach” in school. I begin to challenge the teacher’s; the don’t like that I am being smart.

In the 6th grade I begin to reach out. I learn that there are to books that are banned. Tropic of Cancer/Capricorn are in the lead and “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”. They are banned but I easily find and read both. I don’t understand the banning.

Again, I have 33 books checked out at the Library; behind me in two large bookcases I have an additional three presidential biographies, Washington, Kennedy, and Johnson, and a 30 volume set of the Encyclopedia Americana. There are two compilations of historical ‘Literature’, in the back bedroom I haven’t entered since my wife died are three more bookcases filled with books. {My defintion of a book is anything over 400 pages.} There are several boxes of books.

I read. I have a lot of books; do I read them? Yes, No, Maybe.

Truth be told, no, except for a few.

The last books I read, start to finish was the Trilogy by Ransom Riggs, starting with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

So back to the Original Question. WHAT WAS THE FIRST BOOK YOU EVER PICKED UP?


  1. The first book I picked up was Fun with Dick and Jane too! At home I read the Little Golden Books my parents bought. My old country school didn’t have a library for students below grade 5, so that’s when I began borrowing books. So after grade 5 I read every book I could get my hands on. Nowadays, that’s not exactly possible because I have my hands on about 350 on my eReader. It sure is nice to carry my own library with me wherever I go.

    Liked by 1 person

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