On a recent foray into a used bookstore, I walked out with John Updike's final collection of essays, criticism and book reviews: Due Considerations. My first stop in this collection was Updike's recollection of his earliest reading. His reflections on his childhood visits to the library brought back my own memories of my visits.
Among my earliest books read, I recall many--along with my intact memories of reading while sitting on a massive tree swing and on the back porch of the house.
I was always drawn to mysteries, and the Hardy Boys series was consumed in quantity. Later, I enjoyed many of the Alfred Hitchcock collections, and Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, and Ray Bradbury were science fiction authors of note. Some of these novels were ones I read in school, hiding these novels inside a textbook and, while appearing busy, actually enjoyed reading them in class while playing hooky from the blackboard lessons.
I also recall a novel entitled, The Survivor, which was a WWII story about a Dirty Dozen-type group of commandos, but the author's name eludes me.
It wasn't until much later that I discovered the world of non-fiction and began reading biographies, natural history, and theology. But my earliest pleasures, then as now, were clearly centered in the novel.
Thanks, Mr. Updike, for dredging up a few of these memories.