50 Years Ago…


In 1964, I started keeping a little red and black record book with the titles and authors of the books I was reading. I was faithful to that record book until recent years when I transferred my reading list to a spread sheet and then into LibraryThing. I still love to go back to my record book, however, to see what I read 5 years ago, or as I did this morning, to see what I read 50 years ago today!

That book was The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. The photo above is Byron’s copy — his favorite book, well-worn and well-loved and still on our shelf after all these years. I didn’t love the book the way my husband did. I thought it was terribly sad and depressing, and I never reread it. Perhaps, after 50 years of life experience and a lifetime of reading, I should read this timeless book again and see what I think?

The book begins:

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.

9 thoughts on “50 Years Ago…

  1. Kay

    Robin!!!! Are you the person that I thought of recently who had kept a record of what she read since she was 8 or something? I did a looking back on my reading a week ago and told what I was reading 20, 15, 10, and 5 years ago. Wish I could go back 50 years. And I had that exact paperback when I read Catcher in the Rye (which I hated, by the way). A high school must-read. LOL


  2. Robin Post author

    Kay, I started my record book when I was 15. I wish I had started it at age 8!!! There were so many books that are missing from my list! Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights–read the first time in the 7th grade… I always showed my record book to my students each year, hoping to inspire some of them at young ages to start their own reading record. It’s priceless to me now!


  3. lakesidemusing

    What a treasure! I wish I’d kept records for the last 50 years, but my book diary only goes back to the mid 90’s. My husband still has his copy of The Catcher in the Rye and it looks just like your hubby’s 🙂


  4. Les in NE

    I wish I had started back when I was a teenager (or young child!). I started about 20 years ago and have several book journals. I had planned to blog about those early entries, but never got around to it.


  5. Robin Post author

    Les, I wish I had started even earlier!! I remember reading a ton of wonderful books in 7th grade, but didn’t start this list until high school! Darn!

    Nan, it was my husband’s favorite book way back then…I read it because of that, but didn’t like it much. Very depressing and dark, I thought.



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