It’s Saturday morning and I am up to my ears in There’s-work-to-be-done Spo-chores. But I pause in my industry to scribble out an entry.  

This one is for the Spo-fans who are bibliophiles and members of the clerisy.

I surmise when I am old and haggard* the one pleasure left will be the memory of books. When I need cheering up I can think back on the TGR (thumping good reads) I have experienced. If my eyesight is fortunate I can reopen a few of these blessed tomes and visit old friends. Milo, Alice, Bilbo Baggins, and the Pevensies are not gone but only waiting.

I don’t recall how I found it, but amazon.com had for sale a book from my childhood: “Ghosts and Goblins”. It’s been 45 years since I have read it. I was a rapacious reader in elementary school. G&G was one of those books I never tired to reread. Back then, library books had little pouches inside them with index cards upon which you signed your name at check-out. You could see the book’s check-out history, who all had read it prior. The library had to keep replacing the card, for I would fill them up.

Synchronicity and the pending holiday demanded I purchase the book. It arrived yesterday.

Is there anything as rapturous as holding a book you once upon a time cherished so? Kindle will never capture the feel and redolence of an old book. They smell of ink, old paper, binding gum, and childhood. They are an olfactory delight as well as a TGR. Even the feel of the pages turning is a pleasure.

As mentioned I haven’t read the stories in 45 years, but they all came back quickly. The illustrations elicited delights of recognition “Oh! I remember you!” I refused to go to bed but stayed up lost in a world of ghouls, goblins, and grindylows.

As a boy I remember the book as large and lofty and the stories as complicated.  The book is much smaller than I recall. The stories were charming, but hardly the erudite compositions I thought they were. Most of them were simple folk-tales written for a ten-year-old to enjoy.  So in some way the book was a disappointment, a let down –  ‘it wasn’t what I remembered”.

On the other hand my inner-ten-year-old was thrilled as if he had won the lottery. The memories of the stories and the countless trips to the library came out of the pages.

All month long I’ve tried to capture the puerile emotions of Halloween with little success. This book did so. Better yet it revived the love of reading.  I could not ask for anything better.

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*2018 is a good guess.

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