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McGuffey Readers – What My Grandma Used to Say

McGuffey Reader Green

Grandma Was Literate

Grandma Ling, was a literate woman.  WOW, I never knew that.  What I remember about my grandma was the aprons, the nickname “bubbles”, the granny shoes she always wore.

Her insistence; “David, don’t pick your nose”  “But, Grandma, how am I supposed to get the buggers out?”  “Use a tissue.”

If she had said a stick, or a nut pick, or a Q-tip, that would have made sense, but a flimsy tissue . . .

That’s when I knew grandma had no nose hairs.  Grandma’s been gone for over 20 years.  But I can still here her say “David, Don’t pick your nose, use a tissue.”

The McGuffy Readers

But somewhere in locked in my memory are those green books.  She would have us read them for “entertainment”  there was no TV, no phones, no internet, etc.  She would say, “You kids today don’t know how to read, you have no vocabulary whatsoever.  See Dick run, See Jane run, see jip run . . .”  her words would tail off as she went back to the kitchen.

Personally, I didn’t mind Dick, Jane and Jip  (my dad’s dog was named jip.  not for the books, but because he was a registered beagle with the name Jipsom Rocky Road, not the ice cream, the road we actually lived on Rock Road).  But not grandma, she was sure we were illiterate;  just like I now think most of the people under 40 are.  Oh, my, I’ve become my grandma without the apron, the black shoes, or the disgust for picking one’s nose.

Now I’m thinking about buying a few boxed sets of McGuffey’s Readers for my grand kids, my, how time flies.


  1. You can pick your friends but you can’t pick your nose. That’s what my father told me.

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