A New Beginning

If I say I’ve been reading all my life, you’ll know I’m exaggerating. If I say, I’ve been reading as far back as I can remember, I’d be closer to the truth. Let’s start with my tenth Christmas morning. I recall the dim light from the hall allowing me to make out the pillowcase, bulging with wrapped presents, at the foot of my bed. I couldn’t wait to unwrap Santa’s gifts. With the wrapping paper torn away to be thrown on the floor, I had a pile of books. Heidi, with a cover picture of a girl who likes goats; What Katy Did; a first in a series of books about children who had adventures around Wild Cat Island, Swallows and Amazons; a ‘horsey’ book Black Beauty; and, finally, The Naughty Princess, a collection of well-known fairy stories such as Cinderella and The Princess and the Frog, but embroidered by the words having a saucy twist to them. …a pretty damsel named Alvina, stood before the King in a filmsiest and most ineffectual of negligees. Education, entertaining and an introduction to sex all in one book.

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