Once Upon A Book
And most of my friends missed all this. They were occupied with sports and baseball games on the radio (we didn’t have tv then). They missed the sprites.
These books led me down the path to Imagination Land, a place where Buster Brown and his Sister Sue lived, where the Hardy Boys carried on their adventures. I visited strange countries and met savages in the jungle, cruised down strange rivers and crossed oceans in ships. I went to the Arctic and the Equator.
In Rudyard Kipling’s “Just So Stories,” I learned how the camel got his hump, how the leopard got his spots. I learned how the rhinoceros got his skin, by retribution for stealing the man’s baking: “Them that takes cakes which the Parsee-man bakes, makes dreadful mistakes.” And the cat that walked by himself.
There is something entrancing about having your own corner of the library, where you can sit on the floor and read, undisturbed, without the librarians asking why you are not on a chair at a table. If they know you, it doesn’t matter what your age; they know a reader when they spot one.