INK SLINGER HAS MOVED

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Do you remember reading your first book?


I had this post scheduled to publish on 3/16.  I have no idea why it never did.  I'm sure it has something to do with my lack of HTML skills.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've been thinking about reading my first real book ever.  It's probably no surprise that I don't remember since books make into the "dream" file.  That leaves me with only one option.  The books that I remember in the most interesting way.

The Encyclopedia Something or Other.  No, that's not the real title but my parents had a set of encyclopedias that also came with a book of nursery rhymes and another for fairy tales.  I read these often.  When I was older, I read all the mythology stuff repeatedly.

The first book I truly remember wearing down the spine and killing a book from near constant use was really a set of books.  Comic books, actually.  It was the entire Peanuts collection by Charles M. Schulz.  At the time, the collection wasn't that large but it was a seven or eight hardback box set my parents had bought me.  I read that set over and over and over and over.  I remember once asking my dad a question about it.  It went something like this:

Little Miss Brat:  "Dad, how do you pronounce this name?"
Dad: "Bay-toven."
LMB:  "Nuh uh!"
Dad:  "I'm serious.  That's how you say it."
LMB:  "Okay.  Thanks."  But I really don't believe you and I will continue to pronounce it Beeth-oven until I'm truly old enough to know better.

Mr. Schulz is responsible for my very deep love of comics and graphic novels.

"Bunnicula" by Deborah and James Howe.  I loved the vampire bunny so much that this book never made it to the dream file because I owned it for a very long time.  Maybe you can see my tastes developing with the above three choices.

As I got older, a book that I remember made an impact on me was "A Gift of Magic" by Lois Duncan.  I read it in probably the seventh grade.  It was my first experience with a fantasy book made me feel a connection between old world and modern world, today it would be filed under paranormal.  I checked it out from my school library, my favorite place in school.  After a few years, it hadn't gone into the dream file but I couldn't remember who wrote it or where to find it or anything else.  I didn't even remember the title. But I would always think about it every once in a while. Over the years, I had even tried to find it again and never did until just last year.  I knew the word gift was in it and knew that it maybe had the word magic in it.  By some strange chance, I stumbled upon something about Lois Duncan and saw a list of her books.  Voila.  There it was.  I bought it.

Then there's "A Wrinkle In Time" by Madeleine L'Engle, read just after "A Gift of Magic."  I had actually forgotten all about this book until I saw it in a book store many years later.  I got incredibly excited because even though I hadn't thought about it, I remembered it so vividly.  I bought it.  Just remembering reading it brings warm fuzzies.

Then there's "Cat's Cradle."  I can't tell you the author because I don't remember but I can tell you this much:  it was horror and it wasn't William W. Johnstone, as far as I know, his was published several years later.  I came to this after a bender on reading things like "North and South" by John Jakes and the VC Andrews books.  I wanted a change.  So I got into horror and Stephen King.  Here's what makes this book so special, though.  I read it, liked it and a few months later went to check it out from the library again.  I like to reread books.  I ended up with Kurt Vonnegut by mistake.  And now I love Kurt Vonnegut.

I can go on and on about books that made an impact on me in some way, shape or form but the list would get out of control.  All of these books were read at fifteen or under.  It's interesting to go back over them and think about how much they meant when I was a kid.  At the time, I didn't realize what they meant.  Hell, I probably still don't realize it.  If I had to make this list again tomorrow, it might look a little different.

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