a seed of inspiration : Anne of Green Gables

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Every year (EVERY year) for the last 20 or so, I’ve been reading the entire 8 book series of Anne of Green Gables. Usually in the springtime or early summer. Around April or so, I start to crave these books. Scenes or lines from the books will just pop into my head and will really drive me to re-read the series again.

There’s something about the change in the weather this time of year that REALLY makes me want to go to Avonlea. (sidenote: Andrew and I have a ‘someday’ dream of buying a summer home on Prince Edward Island….love!)

Anne and Gilbert I can’t tell you how excited I was when I learned that Prince Edward Island is a REAL PLACE!

You should know, though, it’s the BOOKS primarily that I love.

I bet a lot of you have seen the TV movies (Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea) …. I do LOVE the casting of those movies, and I have a pretty serious girl-crush on Megan Follows. ….

…. but it’s the books – the plots and characters in the BOOKS – that really have my heart.

(sidenote: re: TV movies. It’s always fun to discover what men of your acquaintance have seen the movies. Few will admit to watching them on their own – most guys claim “I was home sick and my sister/mom made me watch them.” Even fewer guys will admit to liking these movies. So, you can imagine my joy when I got my husband to read the books! Not only did he read them – he LOVES them! He loves Anne – he laughed and cried at all the right places when he read it, and he’s getting ready to read the series a second time. Just one more reason Andrew and I are BFF :)  )

(sidenote#2: as I was typing this, I told Andrew I was blogging about Anne and he said,”I love Anne. I’m glad you introduced me to her. I don’t know what I’d do without her.” hahah!)

I started reading the books in 1st or 2nd grade, I think, and all throughout my childhood I wanted to be Anne Shirley.

I wanted her red hair, and her way of winning people over, and her sincerity and her appreciation of everything.

Reading these books always make me want to be a REAL homemaker – quilting, baking every day, canning and making my own clothes. I should post about all the baking I did as a kid – probably as a direct result of reading these books all the time.

Reading these books makes me want to name our house (like Green Gables or Ingleside).

[Note: I actually have 2 sets of this series. The set pictured below from my childhood, and a 2nd set I got a few years ago to read so the old ones stay in tact. I have a sentimental tie to the published covers/type of this older version of books and want to keep them forever. Soon, I think, I want to blog about our emotional attachment to objects, and why we should journal that]


I know not everyone re-reads a book, or re-watches a movie. …. but I do, and I love that I know these books inside and out. It may sound incredible, but I really do see something new each time I read the series.

I’m going to tell you something else that may sound incredible – and I don’t know how to word it exactly so it doesn’t sound both bizarre and a little self-important:

I feel like a lot of what I have learned about life I learned from these books.

Truly. Take that how you will, but I think L.M. Montgomery was very wise and really used these books to guide little girls to be the best people they can be. …

Anne is not perfect, but she is earnest and she learns along the way about herself, about other people and how to live and love. One of the lovely touches in the books that make Anne Anne. One of her delightful thoughts that made me want to be just like Anne Shirley:

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”


re-reading Anne of Green Gables plants a seed of inspiration to:

  • wear dresses
  • bake
  • garden (food and flowers)
  • let my imagination run wild
  • sew/(learn how to) quilt
  • find a name for our home (right now, we’re calling it ‘Headquarters’)
  • write
  • dream
  • learn how to knit
  • live next door to my best friend so we can come up with some kind of light-flashing signal

Have you read these books?

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  • natalie May 14, 2010 at 5:13 am edit

    I was also introduced to Anne this last year…. I love her too!!…

  • Bertha May 14, 2010 at 5:18 pm edit

    This is too weird! I have been reading and re-reading the Anne of Green Gables series since I’m in third grade. (But I’m in eighth grade so I’ve only really read them 5 times.) And I could totally relate to everything that you said. Except one thing. I am NOT watching the movies. Nothing, nothing, nothing could come close to the Gilbert Blythe of my dreams. And I agree, Anne can make you want to be a a better person. It’s weird. :) What is even weirder is that my favorite of the books is Rilla of Ingleside. Maybe because I sob so much. But the most inspiring is Anne of Green Gables. So, yeah. :) Apparently, I can go on for ages about my love of Anne Shirley.

  • Aubrey May 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm edit

    I love these books too, but it has been a long while since I have read them. The first book my mom read to me on the front porch. So much of it stays with you and I find myself referring to little things from the books often. I may have to get my set from my parents’ house so I can reread them on my own front porch. Thank you for making me think of Anne today. :)

  • Allyson May 20, 2010 at 7:03 am edit

    I am reading Anne right now! It’s my absolute favorite!

  • Michelle E May 20, 2010 at 12:50 pm edit

    What a great post! I adore Anne as well. I would agree – the most inspiring is Anne of Green Gables but my favorite is Anne of Avonlea! I think I cry every five pages approximately – no matter how many times I read it!
    BUT I’ve never read the Rila ones! They weren’t in my box set of 6! So I need to get on that!

  • the green gal May 27, 2010 at 10:32 am edit

    Reading through your posts I can see we have quite a few things in common. However, now I’ve found this post I’m beginning to think we’ve wandered into kindred spirit territory!

    Anne of Green Gables is my favourite book of all time. My mum introduced me to the Megan Follows series when I was 11 and I was hooked from then on. The set of Anne books I own was given to me by my mum, they were her aunt’s before her. They’re so precious and getting rather fragile now that I have cheap paperback versions to read instead. Whenever I was ill or feeling down when I was younger I would pick up Anne and start reading, she always made me feel better, as she does now. I read Tennyson poetry because of the Lady of Shalott escapade and I’m sure my love of vintage, tea parties, wild flowers, plaiting my red hair, and countless other nuances stem from Anne’s influence. I hope one day to visit Prince Edward Island and do all the tourist Anne stuff there is to do!

    Anne is a total inspiration and has even influenced the name of my soon to be launched little business…!

  • Julie (Anne with an e!) Wilkins June 30, 2013 at 9:59 am edit

    Hi I am 45 reading Anne of Green Gables for the first time today on the recommendation of my ten year old daughter Rachel and feel I have come home. I live in a house in Norfolk, England, with green gables. My daughter’s imagination could give Anne’s a run for her money, in fact one day she will be a famous author. Her mother lacks imagination but is learning from Rachel and Anne. Nice to know there are other kindred spirits out there. Julie

  • Katie April 25, 2014 at 7:58 am edit

    I re-read two of the books last year. I do enjoy them as well and have wanted to travel to PEI. Someday maybe.


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