There are two motto’s I like to say about myself. One is “if it weren’t for my camera and electricity I’d be Amish” and the other is “I was born 100 years too late.” While yes, I usually say them trying to be funny- I also kinda believe them. I absolutely love talking to older folks about their childhood. We live in a very fast world where technology is everywhere and people are literally lost without it. But do you know that there are people still alive today that grew up without electricity, a car, or even indoor plumbing? My next-door neighbor is almost 80 years old. She has told me stories about what life was like when she was a little girl growing up in Kentucky. Her family traveled to church by horse and buggy. Her mother made all of her (and her siblings’) clothing. They had an outhouse. Her mother canned all their food and they had a smokehouse for their meat. Life was hard but it was meaningful. The work they did was to sustain the family. How different the world runs today! (I could easily share more on this as I often talk to her about her childhood and what life was like, and I intend to write more on that specifically in the future but for now I’ll leave it at what I’ve said).
When I was little I used to love going to a place called the Genesee Country Village & Museum. Today it’s the third largest living history village in the country. As an adult (when I lived closer to it) I actually volunteered there for a few years. I can’t even begin to explain to you how excited it made me to feel like I was stepping back into history and wishing I could actually experience it. As a kid I thought it was forever ago, but really you don’t have to look too far back to see just how quickly the world has changed. The world of our parents and grandparents is not our own.
I’m not sure how old I was when I started reading books like Little House on the Prairie, but I know that even from a young age they were my favorite types of books to read. I used to wish I could go back in time and live like the early pioneers. There is just something about the way of life that (although very difficult), felt more purposeful and fulfilling. Nowadays parents work for money to pay for the things they need to survive. A hundred years ago the family worked together to farm and/or have a trade that would provide for their needs as well as help the community. Food was naturally organic without any labels needed. While there have been many advances that have helped in the world, I feel like the very way we live our lives has actually suffered.
Looking at the youth of today, does anyone know of any kids not addicted to technology? As soon as kids get their own cell phone/iPad/video games/etc it’s as if they’re never seen from again! I have honest-to-goodness seen a group of teenagers sitting in a room together texting each other… on multiple occasions. What?! Socialization has greatly suffered especially in the past two decades or so. Kids don’t socialize with each other (or even adults) anymore. Disrespect is also at an all-new level. Some of the ways I’ve seen kids talk-back to parents, teachers, and other adults in the community would have been inconceivable 20 years ago. Healthy fear of authority sadly no longer exists today.
So I fully confess that I enjoy reading historical books because I feel like I am able to escape back into history. It’s probably one of the reasons I often get emotional while reading them. I feel as if I step into the pages and become a part of the story. When there are funny moments I laugh, when there sad moments I cry, and when I see danger ahead I shout “no!!” (yes, literally… I’ve been known to spook others if they are in a room with me because there’s no warning haha). Reading is my escape into a different world.
What is your favorite genre to read? Is it for similar reasons as I’ve shared here or do you have another specific reason? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂