Well! The semester is over and I am a person who can enjoy the “on line” world again.
What I want to do, now, with all the world before me, is to spend some time talking about the books that I spent a lot of time with as a child.
I don’t mean the all-star classics, the ones we all loved like Charlotte’s Web or the Ramona Quimby books. I don’t want to examine them critically, review the lives of the authors, or look up the afterlives of the books. I want to see who I was in the book – to understand why I spent so much time with it.
As a child, I liked spending time inside books. I re-read a lot. When you are grown, you generally want to experience a book in the one way: for novels, straight through, in and out; for nonfiction, reference and citation, unless of course it is a narrative and you switch to Novel mode. But when I was a kid, I would just read the first parts of a book again, or the last parts, because I wanted to be in the time that Meg had hot chocolate with Charles Wallace, or the time that Bilbo had to answer riddles from Gollum.
With my current access to ILL books from the college library system, I can go back and see what it was that I liked about these books. I can never know whether or not they were worth liking, not without being a child again. Since I am not, I can at least place these stories into a kind of context, if for no one else but me.