I bought her first copy of Charlotte’s Web. I don’t remember the first time I read Charlotte’s Web, though I imagine I was around the age she is now. What I do remember is Charlotte greeting Wilbur with “salutations” and declaring to all the world that he was “Some Pig” and “Radiant.”
Thinking back to some of the earliest books I’ve bought my girls, they were books I remembered loving as a child. Pat the Bunny was the first book I gave to my little one, along with a children’s Bible—I gave them to her for her first Easter, when she was less than two months old. Since then, I’ve given her other favorites of mine, and when books like The Monster at the End of this Book (starring lovable, furry old Grover) become favorites of hers, it makes me smile.
On that same trip to Target, I happened to see a collector’s magazine commemorating the 75th anniversary of the release of Gone with the Wind. Gone with the Wind is my all-time favorite—both book and movie. I saw the movie for the first time in fourth grade and read it for the first time the next year. I’ve probably seen the movie more than 200 times (don’t judge…it was the official background noise of my teen years, and yes, I realize that not many teens from the ‘90s would say that) and I’ve probably read the book more than 20 times.
A good book has the power to change our lives. When we identify with characters and a story so strongly, we can’t help but take the experience with us. That’s why a good writer works so hard to build believable characters, characters which are truly living people, who live in a world populated by descriptions so rich we as readers can literally see, smell, taste, and feel what’s going on.
And when something makes that kind of an impact on us as a reader, it’s part of the human experience to want to share that with others. To create another point of connection. And in my case with Charlotte’s Web, to share a slice of childhood with my own kids. And maybe, just maybe, to be a kid again for a small moment too…
When you read a good book, do you want to read it again? Do you recommend it to friends? Do you write a review? What’s the best book you’ve ever read?