3.05.2012

All good stories start with "Once upon a time"

Day 17:  Time

Part of my collection of children's books:

 A mix of old and new favorites

 The top shelf includes my young collection of Caldecott books

Anybody who loved to read as a child can remember how enchanting it was at times to be caught up in a book.  I was going to say "magical", but it's not quite the word I'm looking for.  I spent a bit of time with a thesaurus and found synonyms like "bewitching", "necromantic", "spooky", "thaumaturgic".  "Bewitching" comes close to what I mean but just misses the mark.  "Spooky" fits for certain suspenseful books I've read.  I can't say there's ever been a time when I felt the experience of reading a book was necromantic, but I can say now, after having looked up the last word, that certain books have been thaumaturgic for me.  Still, I think for the time being I'll stick with "enchanting".

I've found with the passage of time that it's hard, if not difficult and downright challenging (time to put away the thesaurus), to find books that instill the enchantment I felt as a child.  It happens, but rarely.  So I collect children's books partly as a sort of time travel -- not necessarily to re-experience the wonder, but to remember it -- and partly to help pass that wonder on to my children and grandchildren.

2 comments:

Queen M said...

I agree. My kids know the way to get out of a chore or some other drudgery is if I see them caught up reading I will leave them alone...mostly because I loved that feeling as a kid, and I imagine they must love it too.

Shannon said...

Yeah. I don't know that that magic can ever really be recaptured, especially since adult literature is usually depressing or convoluted, and re-reading children's literature (in some cases) makes me bored because I can see right through everything. That's why I like children's books like "Phantom Tollbooth" or "Harry Potter" among others. They still have messages and fun and intrigue that I can relate to.