In defense of books

When I was eight months old, I said my first word: “Book.” I haven’t asked for very much else since.

 

When I was a kid, getting new books was the most exciting thing in the world. (And let’s be honest—it still is.) There was nothing better than going to a school book fair or poring over the Scholastic Book Club catalog and choosing what I wanted. It was like being set loose in a candy store, except everything was good for me, so I could have as much as I wanted. I don’t remember much about the kids in my elementary school classes or the games I used to play, but I vividly remember the books I read over and over. The Phantom Tollbooth. A Little Princess. Anne of Green Gables. The Trumpet of the Swan. Matilda. The Mozart Season. Gwinna. I cried over Black Beauty and Bridge to Terabithia. I devoured all the Little House on the Prairie books, then read them all out loud to my little sister as soon as she was old enough to understand them. In fourth grade, I read everything Judy Blume had ever written, then mourned when there weren’t any new ones left on the library shelf. In seventh grade, The Giver turned my world upside down, and it still hasn’t quite righted itself. [Read more…]