Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Best Book I Ever Read

I remember the first book I attempted to read.  It was a Golden Book.  The title escapes me but it was about Lassie and some adventure involving small children.  The illustrations were not dazzling, no eye-popping colors, more muted - like washed out water colors.  I'm sure the prose was simple; suitable for a beginner.  But it wasn't the story that I remember.  It was the words - more specifically, the words I could recognize.  This small, thin, square-shaped, stiff-papered book I remember because each week I'd open it up and scan those strings of letters and find new words I had just learned that week in Mrs. Crawford's first-grade class.  Pencil in hand I'd circle words that I now could claim as my own.  "The" was one of the first word I circled again and again - it showed up very frequently.  "Is", "are", "red"...... each time I scanned the pages more words entered my arsenal of literacy, until one day, the leaves populated with circled words, I read Lassie's story cover to cover.
Since those days of sitting on my bedroom floor searching intently for letters that would come together to form a word - like looking for a familiar face in the crowd, I have read thousands of books and have done quite a bit of writing myself.  I know the penciled pages of that book were nothing of note in the realm of literature - but for me it was the wardrobe to Narnia, the looking glass to Wonderland.  It was the best book I ever read.