My Anne of Green Gables Reading Plan for Life

This weekend I've been catching up my current favorite webseries, Green Gables Fables. In the innovative, transmedia storytelling style of the Emmy award winning Lizzie Bennet Diaries, this YouTube adaptation of the beloved Canadian children's classic Anne of Green Gables did what I did not think was even possible. It made me love the story even more than I have before. While gushing about this to other fans of the series online, I mentioned that I have an Anne of Green Gables Reading Plan for Life, and I was asked to elaborate upon that thought. So, friends, Anne-Fans, fellow netizens, I give you just that.
I’ve been an avid Anne of Green Gables fan since I was small, and my parents gave me the whole 8 book boxed set for my birthday. –the classic jewel toned Bantam paperback set- which is the best edition out there in my opinion.

I read them all over and over as a child, then as a teen, I branched out into everything else LM Montgomery ever wrote.. the Emily Trilogy. The Story Girl books…sweet sweet Magic for Marigold. <3  I even named my favorite arm chair Lucy Maud (because naming inanimate objects is completely normal behaviour for someone who loves LM Montgomery’s stories.)
I read all of those books as a child and loved them. I giggled, I swooned -they were perfect. Then I went away to college. Anne went with me of course, as did all of my favorite books… my friends… I would never run the risk of being lonely if I had them near. I picked up Anne of the Island (the one where she goes to Redmond) one day, just for kicks and giggles (I was probably avoiding some important reading like Beowulf) and as I blazed through it that month, it affected me in a way it hadn’t affected me when I’d read it the hundreds of times before. I found that the difference was that I was coming to the story from a different place in my life; not just any old place, but a place the paralleled the life circumstances of the heroine. We were walking the same paths of uncertainty into the hallowed halls of learning. She was coming from backwater Avonlea - I was coming from being homeschooled. We were both navigating the waters of making friends away from home, of being terribly homesick. I had never experienced that before, so in all of my other readings up until that point I was only an outsider looking in to a foreign situation that I could only imagine my self in.
That was when I decided upon the great Plan. 
I decided that I would read the books when ever I wanted still, of course, but that I would make a special emphasis on a certain book (or books) whenever I felt I would be walking closely along the same path as the Anne-girl, in order to more fully grasp the true wonderfulness of the stories, but also, so I would never be walking alone. The internet tells me that it was C.S. Lewis who said “We read to know we are not alone.” This is sometimes true of some authors more than others. For me its L.M. Montgomery and Madeleine L’Engle. For you it may be someone else. 
Now, as to what book I’m currently living alongside, its kind of a blend of Island and Windy Poplars. Obviously I don’t have the whole Gilbert storyline going on right now, (but when I do, you can bet your boots that I will be starting from square one to live love with Anne) but I currently find myself 
  • living in my own little Patty’s Place of a house (our own dear Meriwether House) with  a gaggle of girls (who might also be adopting a cat) 
  • thinking way too much about growing up and what that means (while having way too many friends getting married “Oh", she thought, “how horrible it is that people have to grow up-and marry-and change!” 
while also
  • working in a city far away from my home town and
  • dealing with a town full of people who have lived there their whole lives as did their parents and grandparents and great grandparents while
  • I the plucky, quirky outsider turn everything on its head and hope that they can still like me in spite of it (Seriously, Anne at Summerside gives me hope that I can make it.)
Someday maybe, I’ll live in my House o’Dreams with my Gilbert (though I pray-dear-God that I never have to come to the books to walk alongside Anne through her loss of child) and maybe this whole Reading Plan for Life thing will spin itself out as I’ve so gloriously imagined it will. We’ll see. 
Taking it one page at time,

P.S. I was home and found this gem. The very birthday I got my Anne books. 



1 comment