14 responses to “Books Beyond Books”

  1. I have always wondered if I am really a reader. I mean, I engage in the act of reading. For (estimated) between 12 and 14 hours a day. But am I a “reader”? Do I read for the right reasons? Am I maybe only a text addict? Or a codependent antisocialite? These questions are confusing and immortal.

  2. My daughter’s switch-flipping book was Watership Down, which I suggested for a book report. She ran downstairs to tell me that she had fallen in love with reading and asked if I had any other magical books up my sleeve. I think it made her recognize that she might not have been adopted after all.

    My own switch-flipper was Little Women, which I won in a school library poster contest. In embarrassment, I stopped counting the re-reads after fifteen. For my hard-working, eternally busy maternal extended family, within which I was primarily raised, it was suspect to “have one’s nose always stuck in a book.” My quiet, book-struck father and I were forced to accept outsider status; we read both as an addiction and as an act of self-defense.

  3. What flipped the switch was the science fiction book, The Time of The Great Freeze. I took it out of the school library about 100 times I think. It took me outside of the little town we lived in and threw me into the future of ice, snow, people who were afraid to interact with one another who lived under the miles of snow and ice and made me think of something other than the everyday-ness of small town life.

    What of you?

  4. Thank you for the Gaiman story, which I’m going to carve out time for later. In the meantime, did you see this this year? I got a copy yesterday. I think you’d find it interesting.

  5. Husband was reading Thuvia, Maid of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs to our 8 year old when he was called out of town. Furious that I wouldn’t continue reading aloud to him he read it straight through to the end – tiny font, no pictures, 150 pages – just to prove a point. He’s never been without a book since.

    For me, there were the Bobbsey Twins and the blue cloth covered biographies of the childhood years of famous people and, of course, like Nance, Little Women. G’ma says I’ve always had a book in my hand.

    Thanks for this post, JES. Look for the shout-out in The Burrow tomorrow

  6. @John – You are welcome. And actually, the 8 year old’s favorite books were the red and gold bound World Books I bought from a door-to-door salesman in Chicago when he was 3. Honestly, a down-at-the-heels man rang my bell (his shoes really did need resoling) and I was hooked. My “A” volume still opens right to the airplane pictures.

  7. OMG I spent hours with those human body overlays as a child. I think that’s why I fell for the sales pitch and bought them for my kids. Britannica had small print and big ideas; World Book was much more accessible.

    I’m not surprised you were cross-referencing as a child…. you’re still doing it today :)

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