Love of Books and Stories

Highly recommend this essay by Salman Rushdie in the NYT:

Ask Yourself Which Books You Truly Love

“It is an interesting question to ask oneself: Which are the books that you truly love? Try it. The answer will tell you a lot about who you presently are.”

“The stories that made me fall in love with literature in the first place were tales full of beautiful impossibility, which were not true but by being not true told the truth, often more beautifully and memorably than stories that relied on being true. Those stories didn’t have to happen once upon a time either. They could happen right now. Yesterday, today or the day after tomorrow.”

“I want to return, however, to that childhood self, enchanted by tales whose express and sole purpose was enchantment. I want to move away from the grand religious epics to the great hoard of scurrilous, conniving, mysterious, exciting, comic, bizarre, surreal and very often extremely sexy narratives contained in the rest of the Eastern storehouse, because — not only because, but, yes, because — they show how much pleasure is to be gained from literature once God is removed from the picture.”

Books from my childhood that stay with me:

The Secret Garden

Treasure Island

Hans Christian Andersen

and from young adulthood:

A Journey of Poems

Chronicles of Narnia

Lord of the Rings

Tales from an Old Manse


and in later years:

Mostly non-fiction:

Leaves of Grass (a long-time companion)

My First Summer in the Sierra (Muir)

Accepting the Universe (Burroughs)

Naturalists, Scientists, Freethinkers. . .

(I’ll think of others)

Categories: BooksTags: , , , ,


  1. This was truly fun! Here’s my top-o-the-head collection —

    Scat, Scat, Go Away Little Cat
    Robert Louis Stevenson poems

    Lassie, Black Beauty, My Friend Flicka
    Nancy Drew, detective

    Emerson, Thoreau, Wordsworth

    Out My Life and Thought, & More from the Primeval Forest (Schweitzer)
    Brothers Karamazov
    St. Joan (George Bernard Shaw)

    Walter Wink’s “Powers” series
    Going Home (Thich Nhat Hahn
    Borg and Crossan

    now more Highland : )

    Happy Reading!!

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