What book (or books) from your childhood do you think about most often? Which had the [greatest] effect on your life?
I have a faint memory of a colorful book that I was reading out loud to my friends one day. We were sitting in the grass behind our central mail delivery unit. (The book is the faint part of the memory; everything else is vivid.) I was happily reading when I felt a tickle on my other hand, the one that was not holding the book. I looked over and saw a hornet perched right on my palm. I panicked. It stung me.
And you thought reading a book was a nice safe activity. Wrong!
The other standout childhood book is my picture Bible. I don’t remember when I got it, but I held on to it for a long time. It was a gift, and it was the only Bible I owned until eighth grade. (True story.) I would open it up to the beginning and look at the impressionist paintings of Adam naming the animals in Genesis. Sometimes I would flip on a few pages to Cain’s murder of Abel, or even all the way to Samson pushing the pillars down to crush his enemies.
It was years before I knew that the Bible is not really meant to be read cover-to-cover like a novel. As a child, though, I knew that the end of the “book” was really scary. Those pages had pictures of a raging fire. I didn’t like that part. Currently, I am nearing the end of a Bible study on the Book of Revelation. There’s not as much fire as Little Lindsay thought. There’s some fire, but there’s also the New Jerusalem. That part is pretty sweet.
For more short queries about books and the reading life, visit Booking Through Thursday.