Saturday, August 23, 2014

On Sharing: the Magic of Books

When I was in fifth grade, my English teacher decided to dedicate an hour a few Friday afternoons to reading aloud to the class. She purposefully chose books that she enjoyed, that didn't necessarily serve any educational purpose. Just entertainment.

One of the books she read aloud haunted me for the rest of my life. It was HILARIOUS and CLEVER and FRESH and BRILLIANT. Up to fifteen years later, I could recite the synopsis to you and simply GUSH about this book.

Which I totally had forgotten the name of.

Still, like I said, I was haunted. I NEEDED to figure out what this book was. Every time I thought I might remember a new clue on the title (since googling what the book was about didn't get me anything) I would write it down. And search.

Yesterday, I was randomly looking something up in an educational textbook with a very familiar image. IT WAS FROM THE BOOK!!

And like a good textbook, it cited its reference and source for that image.


You can't imagine how excited I was TO FIND THIS BOOK!!!! And it was STILL IN PRINT. AND I COULD BUY IT. OMG. *dies*

What's the moral here?

Nothing grand; at least, at a surface level.

But my English teacher shared something precious with me; she introduced me to an author who haunted me for the rest of my life. To a work that I simply HAD to track down and find.

She created a fan. A reader. A BUYER. YEARS later.

Authors: share your books. Read aloud to children. Whether in a classroom, your local library, or to your grandchildren - read to them. Inspire them to be haunted by words for the rest of their lives.

THE BOOK, in case you're wondering:

Motel of the Mysteries
By David Macaulay


  1. That's really cool :)

    In 10th grade English, my teacher read is 'The Thirteen Clocks', by James Thurber, which is definitely one of those 'haunting' type books that I will love forever.

    It's interesting how someone reading a book out loud to you can make such a strong impression, at any age :)

  2. This is special. My fifth grade teacher (Sister Natalie!!!) read aloud to us. It was through her class that I was introduced to Narni and The Phantom Tollbooth--and I will always be grateful. ❤️

  3. The title of this haunts me, in a good way! I was talking to my son about Magic, and where it can be found. He came to the conclusion, on his own, that magic exists in books. Proud mommy moment.