A few days ago me and a friend went to Borders bookstore and ended up wandering around the children’s section looking for books that we remembered reading in the past. It was fun to search back in the dusty corners of our brains where the memories of those book had been sitting quietly. She talked about “Amelia Bedelia” books and how her mom used to read “Nancy Drew” to her and her brother. I talked about being scared out of my mind by “Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark”, I’m not sure how they were ever allowed in my elementary school library, the cover alone is frightening enough.
We both agreed that “Sideways Stories from Wayside School” is one of the best book series of all times. We also both remember having our minds blown away reading “A Wrinkle in Time” when it was said that the shortest distance between to places was not a line, but a wrinkle. These were landmark moments in our childhood.
An hour passed and we decided that perhaps we had spent enough time in the children’s section. Before we left though I had to buy a copy of “Half-Magic” by Edward Eager. I remember this book fondly and all the magic, time travel, and global wanderings the children in the story encountered. This was a book I had picked out myself and had found by just wandering through the library. In many ways it felt like a secret book no one else knew about because our class wasn’t required to read it and I wasn’t reading it for any project, it was just for me.
I was inspired to write this post because of a comic I saw over at XKCD.com. My brother was a huge fan of the Redwall series, I think I only read one. Probably because by the time I had heard of them I was going through that phase where I thought I was above children’s literature. If I had the time to reread all the books I read as a child how different would they all seem now and would that magic be lost? I’m not sure. Maybe some things are best left to memory.