So, the daily prompt asks us what our favorite toy was as a child, and if there’s a connection between it (favorite toy) and our life today. You wanna know what my favorite toy was growing up? This:
That, dear readers, is a sixteen volume set of children’s stories. I’m not sure how or when my mom got this set of books, I just remember them always being there. It is chock full of all different kinds of stories from across the board. Stories from authors like Hans Christian Anderson, Shakespeare, Louisa May Alcott, and Louis Carroll to name a few. Each volume is dedicated to a different genre… and there were so many genres and so many stories that it took me years to read them all. Years. And read them I did. And I read them again. And again. Of course, I had my favorites, and there were some I didn’t like, but this was 16 volumes of stories! For a kid… that was huge! And so many to chose from! And poems! Come on! Who wouldn’t love that? The Tales from Many Lands volume opened my horizons at a very early age. Not only were there stories from my country to be read, but from all over the world! How cool was that??? Remember, this was before the Internet was a twinkle anyone’s eye. And I was ten, so that was way cool at that age.
And, when I started to go to the library, I recognized the authors names on books! Wow! So I started reading their books. Otherwise, I probably would have never read Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book if I hadn’t read his The Elephant’s Child and (my favorite) Rikki Tikki Tavi in these volumes of stories. They also sparked my love of language and how it changes, because many of these stories were written and edited before my time and even then I noticed that the language had changed.
Seriously, this set of children’s stories changed my life. If my mom had let me, I would have taken them with me when I left home and kept them for my own kids. If I had the money I’d buy the set from the person who posted the picture above, just for nostalgic purposes (but who has $100 to spend on books these days?). They may suffer on the re-read, but for now, I have fond memories of pulling one of those heavy volumes from the bookshelf and sitting for hours and hours just reading. I mean, who needs toys when one has the world in front of them, just waiting for someone to open the cover?