I Heart Mitford
September 25, 2007
From a very early age I have loved to read. When my mom would arrive with the newest “Babysitters Club” or “Sweet Valley Twins” release I would devour it, usually in one day. Many of them I read over and over. As I got into my teenage years reading, for pleasure was suddenly uncool, and the books I used to read seemed so immature that I pretty much quit. By the time I was in high school and college, my school and work responsibilities left little or no time for causal reading.
Over the past several years I have read alot more books, a fact I credit a friend, and to the United Methodist Women’s Reading Program. My friend of mine is really into the thriller type novels, and I began reading her books once she was done with them. While books like, “The Winner” and “The DaVinci Code” were very entertaining, reading them left me tense and exhausted. The books in the UMW reading program are, for the most part, very interesting, and informative on topics that I have little of no prior knowledge. They make me think about people, places, customs and situations that are hard for this middle class southerner to fathom. More often than not, the books, even the fictional ones, make me cry. The purpose of the reading program is to make the reader better informed, so most of the books are of an educational nature, which is not really my thing.
I soon became weary of books that left me tired and tense, with mascara running down my cheeks. What I needed was some light reading, but I had no idea where to start. In my younger days I had devoured the Bridget Jones seires, along with some similar books. However, as a rural, church-going, wife and mommy, I no longer had the zest to escape into the lives of urban singletons, with their forrays into drunkeness and casual sex. I felt that I was past all of that.
A few years ago I stumbled, quite by accident, upon a set of books by Jan Karon, centering around an Episcopalian priest in the fictional mountain town of Mitford, NC. I soon fell in love with the characters, the places, and everything about Mitford. I lived in a “Mitford”, my church, although not Episcopalian, was a “Lord’s Chapel”, complete with a couple of “Miss Sadie’s”. I related to the quaintness of Mitford, because there are dozens of towns just like Mitford near my locale.
I read my 3 book set, and it was heartwarming. It proved to be the perfect light reading material, and it didn’t require too much brainpower on my part. When I finished my 3 books, it never occurred to me that there might be more Mitford books. One day while in the local library, Mrs. Karon’s name popped into my head, so I went to peruse the K’s. To my amazement, I found several more Mitford books, which I promptly devoured.
Since finishing reading all the Mitford books, I am once again at a standstill in the light reading department. I have tried to find something that I like as well, but I just can’t seem to get it right. I have a few weeks before the reading program returns, so……….I’m reading the first 3 Mitford books again!