Tuesday, October 31, 2006

From "The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop" by Louis Buzbee

I just started this book, and on page 37, I found something interesting that I had to answer.

He states:

There's nothing exceptional in my reading history, and that's why I've chosen to detail it. For those who are afflicted with book lust, those for whom reading is more than information or escape, the road to our passion is quite simple, paved merely by the presence of printed matter.

It's a common story; fill in your own blanks: I was ____ years old when I happened on a novel called ____, and within six months I had read every other book by the writer known as _____.

I was fifteen. The Grapes of Wrath. John Steinbeck.

I read that and thought, this is a question I must answer.

I was 13. A Wrinkle in Time. Madeleine L'Engle.

I have to explain a bit more, because it was quite an interesting story. I had some birthday money one time, and I bought A Wrinkle in Time, but didn't read it right away. Then, I had to do a book report for school, and my mother gave me a book that she had picked up for me. Guess what the book was? A Wrinkle in Time. So, I had two copies of the same book. Then, when I got the rest of the books in the quartet, I got them from a book order. First and only time I saw Madeleine L'Engle in a book order (I would know, I was always reading them). So, I got A Wrinkle in Time again! I also have two copies of A Swiftly Tilting Planet. So, I had the quartet, and An Acceptable Time, which is about one of the main characters from A Wrinkle in Time' daughter. I have to say, it was not 6 months before I had read her all, she was a difficult author to track down in Canada, actually. I got the rest of her young adult books when I went to Texas in the 8th grade, and then for the next year or so I ordered her adult books second hand off Amazon.com. Then, last year, I bought (just because I needed it again, right), a 4-in-1 copy of The Wrinkle in Time quartet. I have lost one of my copies over the years, but even with this very nice hardcover copy, I can't seem to get rid of any of the others. That means, I have three copies of both A Wrinkle in Time and A Swiftly Tilting Planet. There are still some of her older books that I don't own, but for being so young I did a very good job.

When someone says, what was the book that changed how you read, I say A Wrinkle in Time. I had always been a big reader, but reading that book changed my reading for the better.

I am going back to my reading, but if anyone else wishes to share, I think it's a fun question!


  1. Well I'm not sure if I should be admitting this in such a public place but here goes ...

    I was 11 and I happened on a novel by Danielle Steele I thnk it may have been Star but I'm 100% sure and that start me on the road to reading and I have now read nearly every book by her expect the new ones but I dont own any My Mum buys them and I borrow them. Ok that is my guilty book secret

  2. I am so glad that you are reading this book. It is excellent. Also read The King's English by Betsy Burton...another bookstore memoir.

  3. Louise - Thanks for being so brave! haha I know plenty of people that read Danielle Steel, she has to make her money somehow!

    Melrose Plant - I am enjoying it so far! I have added the other book you mentioned to my list. :)

  4. That's cool and the book looks interesting! I am not one to read every book by an author so I can't answer. LOL.

  5. in my case it'd probably be the Chronicles of Narnia series.
    tho i do remember loving A Wrinkle In Time when i was a kid too.

  6. For me - I was eight, read The Black Stallion and have read as many Walter Farley books as I could find.

  7. Honestly... this post caught me a bit off guard. Everytime I see "what book changed your life as a reader"...and these sorts of questions, A Wrinkle in Time always pops into my head. It was a defining book for me in my youth and I went and bought all of her other books as well. Only....none could even touch A Wrinkle in Time.

  8. That same book as me! That's cool!

  9. My goodness! It would be the exact same for me. A Wrinkle in Time was the beginning of a Madeleine L'engle kick that I never really got over. But I'd have to qualify that by saying that when I read Anne of Green Gables at about the same time (11 or 12 ish) it started an addiction to Lucy Maud Montgomery which I still pursue, and with the explosion in academic writing about LMM I don't see my collection getting any smaller...


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