Sunday, February 19, 2017

"My beloved copy of the book began to crackle when the cover was lifted."

I recently mentioned that we do a freewrite every week at our writing group. I'm sharing Ramona's from last week because I just loved it so much. The prompt came from the Brave Writer blog:
Think of something that started out new then gradually wore old. It might be a clean softball, a bike with no rust, a fresh coat of nail polish, or a brand new year. Tell the story of how it began bright and shiny then grew worn and well-used.

Here's Ramona's response. She wants me to include the disclaimer, though, that I am not the mother she mentions, as the following is a dramatization. What's true, however, is that she deeply loves Little Women. And we do indeed have old copies that are falling apart.  💙

Is there anything better than a new book? I picked a book off of the many shelves in the store. The title was Little Women. I got home and read the whole thing. A few months later, I read the whole thing again. I read and reread my favorite parts over and over. It quickly became one of my favorites of all time. My beloved copy of the book began to crackle when the cover was lifted. With every turn of a page, a cozy popping sound emitted from the binding. One day, my mother asked, "Wouldn't you like a new copy of Little Women? This one is falling apart." I replied, "Yes, I would like a new copy, but I will not part with this one." 

If you want your kids to love writing, keep reading, reading, reading. Keep writing (for fun, without pressure.) Keep it joyful, focus on delight. Love your books until they fall apart.


Melanie Bettinelli said...

I still have my beloved copy of Little Women/Good Wives/Little Men. It is falling apart. I remember how it appeared on my shelf one day. I had no memory of ever seeing it there before. My mom disclaimed all knowledge of it. It was a great mystery. It had a paper cover but that was soon lost. I loved even better the cloth cover underneath, a deep red with gold embossed title in very fancy script. The cover is faded and worn, but it still looks magical to me. The binding is shot and pages are falling out. I cannot let my kids read it. I had to buy a cheap new copy for them to paw through. But that makes me sad because it is so poor and shabby compared to the richness of my old copy.

Tamara said...

I love this! (And Little Women.)

Karen Edmisten said...

Thanks, Tamara!

jan godown annino said...

I can think of a world of wonderful responses with my critique group borrowing this prompt.
Appreciations for sharing it.

And I do see crafters using children's book pages (usually illustrations) in their lovely projects, with the disclaimer that they've worked with pages from a damaged book.

So many of our books here at home fall into that category of being nearly loved to death. And our crowded shelves are testimony to our difficulty in parting with these memories.

Thanks for an evocative post.