There are very few things in this world, which can bring an almost cathartic sense of calm when our hearts and mind wander to it; giving us that sense of solace we seek to find in a crazy world. I believe that the power of literature has that singular ability to reach into our souls, and through the words of others, answer the questions that burden us when there is no one else but you to hear your thoughts.
I remember as a child growing up in St. Croix when the library held the key to the universe for me. The librarians knew me by name, and I was the only kid allowed to take out ten books, when the limit was three. I literally couldn’t sleep at nights thinking about all the fantastical things I had read earlier that day from books by E.B. White, Beverly Clearly and a host of others. Reading became even more instrumental in my life, when at the age of nine, my father passed away. Books became my refuge and I plunged into the world of Encyclopedia Brown and Henry Huggins. They became my friends, and in a strange way, brought semblance to my everyday life. Everytime I opened the pages, they would be there, waiting for me to join them on our next adventure. They were carefree boys enjoying life, and bad things never happened to them. Between the pages, they were safe from everything and everyone.
Thirty years later, I still recall those days spent in the library as a child during the summer months with great affinity. My love of literature helped to heal me as a child when I lost my father. I wish, I could one day personally thank every single writer whose words I devoured as a child and still yearned for more after reading their latest book. My mind would be filled thoughts of every single character as I lay in bed. Wondering, what would happen next, when I turned the page? I would often times fall asleep, and drift instantly into a dream conjured up from a sprinkling of my books and my imagination. Thoughts of my father, though not forgotten, hurt a little bit less when my mind was filled with the beauty of the wonderful world of books. Whenever you see me these days, a book can’t be too far away from me. They are still my salvation.
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