My aunt read to us children while she ironed. Her selections were the classic stories from her youth or her teaching days. Rather than expect our schools to assign these old stories and writings by black authors, she supplemented our knowledge herself.
Which of the six children were readers? I do not know. I was one. The Public Library was about a mile away. It was the only place I could go alone. A rule prevented children from the adult room and the balcony.
Within a few years, probably aged ten, the librarians agreed with me that I had read all I needed to in the children’s room. (Even the chairs were too small.)
My favorite books were on the balcony. Egypt, Vikings and huge art books were like worlds away from the uncertainty I felt with no parents or home to return to. School libraries also provided novels to fantasize about. In our home, a glass-cased shelves held Daddy-Long Legs, Gulliver’s Travels, Robinson Crusoe and Pollyanna. They were reread many times.
As you know, I love Internet Archives for its mission to make books, music, radio programs and more available online and for free. I just read The Familiar Letters of Peppermint Perkins, pseud.. This book was printed in 1894, reprinted from the Boston “Saturday Evening Post”
The letters are written between 1885 and 1886. There are hilarious passages. They describe life and customs for both men and women. If you know Boston, you will enjoy and understand Peppermint’s references. So much is unchanged when she wonders why she, as a woman, should vote. Shelives with a brother, Joe and their mother.
I must confess that I find reading aloud difficult. However, this book would be hilarious entertainment for a family to read aloud together. I will urge my ‘dramatic’ granddaughters to take on some of the long passages. This book was downloaded to Kindle but there are more ways to read and enjoy.