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first book

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Not the first book you read, the first book you loved.

Mine was Wizard of Oz, a beautiful edition with pictures.

Not a comic book, but a good transition from comic books.

It was Grandma’s book. I told her I loved her book.

And I did, loved it enough to get one for a birthday, or Christmas.

But it wasn’t just the first book I loved, it was the first book I loved and wouldn’t read until she gave me HER book.

I don’t know why her book was important, but it was.

And Grandma wouldn’t give it up.

Instead she used it as tool in her sneaky plan to smarten up her grandkid.

She said if I read the books she sent me every birthday and Christmas, then I might get the Wiz.

This is back when you saw the Wizard of Oz once a year.

On a black and white TV.

The first time I saw it in color I  fell over.

It fed the need for the first book I fell in love with.

Grandma sent me Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson and Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.

Like the Wizard book, these were gorgeous editions on beautiful paper inside elaborate sleeves.

She sent sets of Zane Grey.

I never read any of them. I wanted the Wiz or nothing, and eventually got over it.

But I kept the books, spent two years at Oregon as an English major, and lived to hear them all read aloud.

Not books on tape, but my English mother in law reading them to her ill husband in an English accent.

It was a time warp experience that probably played out the day after those books were first published in Great Britain.

So the first book I fell in love with was unattainable, a book beyond my reach.

It was an education tool dangled by a smart woman.

And I’ve been chasing both ever since.

The first book you fell in love with?

About David Gillaspie
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