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Friday, April 15, 2011

Reading the Story of O

I read on someone's blog this afternoon that one of her training tasks was to re-read "The Story of O".  This is not something I would want any sub or wife of mine to read.  It's a story of abuse, abandonment and desolation and has little literary value, and is an example of how NOT to live, how NOT to care for someone.  I certainly would not ask my wife to read it, and if I did and she started, I think she would soon give it up, probably wondering why on earth I suggested it.

If I were to give someone a reading task, it would be a book with broad human values depicted.  Depending on the woman and her educational level, I might choose Anne of Green Gables,  The Secret Garden,  Sense and Sensibility,  The Alchemist,  Doctor Zhivago,  Silas Marner,  Kim, Great Expectations,  even Madame Bovary or Jane Eyre.

The reason these classics are still widely read is that they deal fairly with universal human doings and feelings.  Many of them I have read to my son (I have read to Claude more than 40 substantial books and uncounted short stories, fairy stories etc since he was 4 years old) and as a result he has a very wide vocabulary and an acquaintance with a little of the worlds great literature.  This is the kind of reading I would ask a sub to do, because I know that after she has finished such a book, she will be wiser, and perhaps happier.

What would be the recommendations of others here?


  1. Years ago I read "Little Women" which of course is a great classic. But only recently have I read "Little Men." I found it really showcases how a soft and feminine woman can really bring joy to the men in her life, and how much power she really has.

    Good for you for reading so much to your son. I've slacked off a bit lately on that because of busy schedules, plus they read on their own. But I'm going to make it more of a priority.


  2. Thanks for the recommendation, Serenity. I also read "Little Women" - in fact I possess a copy - but haven't read "Little Men." I did try to read "Jo's Boys" on the recommendation of my ex-wife (whose name is Jo by the way, and thereby hangs a tale), but couldn't get on with it for some reason. If I can lay hands on a copy of "Little Men" I will certainly read it, but we have no library within reach and I would have to buy it online from Amazon. I might do that, and I'll let you know if I do!

    Up till about 6 months ago I used to read to Claude every evening when he was in bed. We had fun then. Now he's 14, is becoming independent and doesn't seem to want it any more, but I miss it and would like to do something else with him. Any ideas?

    I really enjoyed being with Claude when he was a little boy, now those days are gone and sometimes I regret it. I did say to Claude a year or two back, "Your childhood is almost over now, I have so much enjoyed your company all these years."

  3. These aren't classics but good BDSM stories I think subs would find interesting -- Panic Snap and Topping from Below by Laura Reese.


  4. Thanks FD, I'll look for them.

  5. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

    The Giving Tree (Shel Silverstein)

    The Prophet (Kahlil Gibran)

    Jonathan Livingston Seagull and There's No Such Place As Far Away (both by Richard Bach)

    I agree with the rest of the books you mentioned, and would add anything by Leo Tolstoy. Also, for strictly BDSM reading, I liked The Loving Dominant by John Warren.

    I recently read an author by the name of Naomi Novik, her series of books about Temeraire the Dragon. Very well written, enjoyed them immensely and have turned my mother and eldest brother onto them too. Great fun for history buffs.

    And like you, I read extensively to my son, in utero and out. He is an avid reader now (has been for years) reading for pleasure and knowledge both. While he was in High School, for his own enjoyment he was reading Ayn Rand. Atlas Shrugged to be specific. College level reading for sure, and he was disappointed to learn that his High School English teacher had never read any of Ayn Rand's works. He lost respect for public school teachers at that moment in time, unfairly of course, but still.

    Whatever we're reading, I am glad we're reading. Whether we're enjoying light reading for fun, or heavier reading for knowledge, I just think it's good to read.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking question. I spent some time today considering some of my most favorite books of all time, a very pleasurable pursuit to be sure.


  6. And forgive me for hi-jacking your blog with that long comment, and now this one, but I must applaud anything by Louisa May Alcott also - including Little Men.

    And then the part about you not having a library registered in my mind, and I thought I suggest a kindle. Master gifted me with one for my birthday last year, and I've loved it ever since. I do sometimes miss the feel and smell and experience of a book. And the ability to loan or give it away after reading. But mostly, I've LOVED having access to so many books, often for free, and able to carry them all around at one time!

    I'll be quiet now, lol.


  7. Tapestry: many thanks for your comment, you can comment at as great length and as often as you like, for I love reading your thoughts.

    I have "The Little Prince", illustrated nicely, and read it to Claude some years ago. Yesterday, after Serenity's suggestion, I looked in Amazon and was able to download "Little Men" to my Kindle-for-PC for the sum of $0.89. I have already read the first three chapters. I had a discussion with a friend a while ago about the difference in style between L.M.Allcott and L.M.Montgomery (Green Gables); I actually prefer Montgomery as her writing is a bit closer to my experience of life.

    I have Khalil Gibran's "The Prophet" (and other stuff by him, too) and it has long been a favourite of mine. I'm not sure about reading it to Claude, I'll think about it. "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" I also have (also "Running from Safety") and have never read it aloud, that is definitely one I will try if Claude is still willing to listen. He was very appreciative of "Anne of Green Gables" and "Anne of Avonlea", but that was before teenage arrived. I have "Atlas Shrugged", in my view that misses being a "great" book as Ayn Rand has an axe to grind; nevertheless it's well worth reading and may well appeal to D/s couples. Will it live through the centuries as more than a giant politico-philosophical tract?

    "War and Peace" I consider to be one of the greatest books of world literature. Years ago I did try reading it to Rose, but she was unable to concentrate and I soon stopped - perhaps too soon. My paperback copy is very rubbed and worn now, as is "Doctor Zhivago"! I am now reading to Rose at night when we have got into bed, at the moment "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight", it's a good story. I read three or four stanzas at a time, I don't know whether she has become conscious of the alliterative style of this ancient poetry as I haven't explained it to her, thinking it better to leave it to reveal itself unbidden, or not, as the case may be. Rose has a University degree in Accounting but is sadly un-read, whereas I have no degree but a love of the English language and literature.

    And I must mention Alexander McCall Smith's "The Number One Ladies Detective Agency" and others in that series, they are very good and humourous! We wished there were more.

    I'll look into the other books you mention. And, a Kindle to carry about is a great temptation!

  8. Atlas Shrugged is a great book, and does not have a political axe to grind in my opinion. The story she wrote about in 1957 is happening now. She just knew the dangers of the government running everything, being born in Russia as she was. I've read it twice. Well worth it for sure.


  9. I've always loved the "The Book of Small" by Emily Carr. It's been quite a long time since I read it, but Small is the nickname given to the girl in the story for her size and age and if I remember right it's written first person and very well done at that. Despite being nicknamed Small, the girl is not small in her actions or heart and it is a great story.

    I'm not sure that the Little House on the Prairies series qualifies as classics, but those are books I enjoyed immensely when I was in elementary school. The old-fashioned simplicity and characters make them enjoyable even if they are a fairly low reading level novel.

  10. Thanks Emilie. Several people have recommended the Little House on the Prairie to me,andI will have a look for The Book of Small.


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