Little Visits with My Books

Sylvia reading

Brian’s sister Sylvia

Hi, this is Brian Coatney. Today’s blog is by my sister, Sylvia Boldt. Sylvia went three semesters at HCC in 1970-1971 and then completed her AA in liberal arts in 1987. When I asked her about a favorite professor or two, here is what she said:  “Yes, Dr. Kevin Felton, William Turner, Mary Lou McReynolds, Dr. Self, Joann Gabbard, Carl Suddeath, and Larry Walston. They were all great! I hate to leave out any of my professors.” Sylvia lives in Hopkinsville with her husband, Art. They have four grown children, and two of them, Anna Boldt Gentry and Ruthie Boldt Howard, also went to HCC in the 1990s.

Anna and Ruthie

Sylvia’s daughters, Anna and Ruthie

Dr. David Carter is always up for a good Ruthie story since she was his student and on the speech team, as well as a poetry editor for Brett Ralph and The Round Table. Ruthie attended HCC two years and then transferred to Asbury College for her BA. Anna completed her AA at HCC in 1996 in accounting and then finished at Austin Peay State University and has been a CPA with Kem, Duguid and Associates since then. Here is Sylvia’s blog:

A pot of hot tea, a blanket, a space heater, and a dog by my side—these provide the perfect atmosphere for reading.  However, when I don’t have time for such luxury, little visits with my books are a daily diet for me.  I have piles of bookmarked books all over the house.

bedside books

Sylvia’s bedside library

Reading has not always been important to me.  Like my brother, Brian, I found some books in high school to be completely boring.  Even in junior high school, I found that reading Jesse Stuart’s The Thread That Runs So True was a complete nothing in my brain.  I reread this book in 2007 and was completely captivated.  I went on to read many of Stuart’s other books.  I read The Thread That Runs So True a third time this past fall.  Again, I was captivated.

Reading books about homesteading, pioneers, and the Appalachia is my favorite reading at this time in my life.  My husband introduced me to the Kentucky writer, Janice Holt Giles. My favorite Giles’ books are The Piney Ridge Trilogy.  He also introduced me to Elinore Pruitt Stewart who has many open domain books online.

books on table

A typical Sylvia book stash

Backing up a bit, I need to explain that my love for reading began when I was a young newlywed. We lived in a tiny apartment without a television or a phone.  Art was still in college, and I was pregnant with our first child.  I learned to love reading.  We went on to have three more children that were stair steps, and I read when they were napping.  I made sure they had an early bedtime so that I could read.  Our children grew up knowing that reading was very important.

Art and I have both have had major health issues this past decade.  Twice, I have camped out at Vanderbilt Medical Center with Art and my books.

I can soar in the clouds with C.S. Lewis or take a trip to far off places with James A Michener.  Abigal Adams is one of my role models from reading David McCullough’s John Adams.  Last winter was extremely hard for me.  I found great comfort in reading The Tapestry: the life and Times of Francis and Edith Schaeffer.

Sylvia and daughter Anna

Sylvia and daughter Anna

Lighter reading is often a welcome distraction.  My daughter, Faith, introduced me to Alexander McCall Smith’s books about The NO.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.  I enjoyed those when I was recovering from breast cancer surgery.  I also enjoy the writings of James Herriot with his All Creatures Great and Small book series.

My book list could go on and on.  Like brother, Brian, I enjoyed some Dickens’ novels.  Reading is my favorite form of entertainment.  It is also my lifeline in times of distress.  I am thankful for those early days of no television and telephone that opened a lifetime of learning. Anyone for a pot of tea and a good book?  I hope so.

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One comment on “Little Visits with My Books

  1. Karen Dougherty says:

    Great post, Sylvia! If you like The #1 Ladies’ Detective series, you may enjoy The 44 Scotland Street series even more…it’s smart and funny. My personal favorite, though, is The Sunday Philosophy Club series. Alexander McCall Smith has given me a lot of happy hours. Here’s to all of us who pile up stacks of books.

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