If you've been following my blog, I'm sure you can guess where I'm going here. Can you feel the heat arching from the fire of a pile of burning books? Can you hear moans as the smoke, black and thick, smothers the life out of beloved characters, rich ideas, truth, knowledge, beautiful images? Can you hear the pop and sizzle as the embers spark and jump from one book to another?
Just before I began writing tonight, I pulled a book from my bookshelf. My sister gave it to me a couple years ago. I treasure it. She remembered how the book transported us both to another world when our fifth grade teacher read it chapter-by-chapter over the course of several weeks in the mid-1950's. The book taught me about friendship, courage and hope. Although some details faded, I still feel emotion when I think about the ending. Candy by Robb White is no longer in print. It's not available in any e-format that I've found. Amazon.com lists 2 used books available for over $50. Alibris.com lists 3 (although 2 are German) and our own local John King Used & Rare Bookstore has none. I wonder how many copies of Candy have met the fate that Lemony Snicket spoke of.
Tomorrow I shall give the book to my granddaughter to read while she's here. She'll finish a chapter before she puts it back on the shelf to return to during her next visit. Do you have a favorite childhood book? You might find it at the AAUW Used Book Sale September 19th-22nd. More information is available at http://www.booksale-aauw-dearborn.info/ .
As for the answer to last week's question, the city the essay ("Street Haunting" by Virginia Woolf) was written about was London. If you're interested you can read the essay at http://teaching.quotidiana.org/essays/Woolf_StreetHaunting.html . ( “Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack. Besides, in this random miscellaneous company we may rub against some complete stranger who will, with luck, turn into the best friend we have in the world.” )