Friday, June 21, 2019


Timing is everything.  When I was in seventh grade our reading class read Pride and Prejudice .  We had to underline words we didn't understand and find the meaning.  I had no idea of the story, just lots of underlined words that were strange.  I hated the book.

And then one summer when I was in high school I read the book again.  As I recall it was just for pleasure this time and I was older.  This time I got the story and ended up loving the book.

I recently started reading it again.  This time my take was totally different.  I looked at it from a writer's point of view. The first thing I noticed was how the dialogue worked for the story.  I was struck at how funny Mr. Bennett was.  I hadn't noticed that before.  Also thanks to watching things like Downton Abbey some of the rules of society were easier to understand.

This takes me to The Phantom Tollboth .  I don't remember when I bought the copy of it, but it had to be twenty years ago.  I'd heard from somewhere that it was a hot kids' book.  I started to read and it left me cold.  It sat for years, like twenty of them I guess, on  shelf unnoticed until a few days ago.  I was cleaning and trying to clear away stuff when I saw the book.  I remembered that my daughter in law had said it was one of her favorite books.  I was looking for a break from my tasks and sat down right then to give the book another try.  I'm not sure why  -- maybe it was just that I was looking for an excuse to take a rest from cleaning -- but this time I found the book funny and oh, so clever.  I can't understand why I didn't like it before.

If you could see me I'm shrugging because  I have no answer other than I'm in a different place now.  It's funny and a little scary to see how my take on things can change.

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