• Benjamin Fife

ReadingMagic - Do you still own any books that you had as a kid? - the Reading Magic Game - Day 6

Do you still own any books that you had as a kid? Not just the same book title, but the exact physical copy that you owned and kept throughout your life?


When Brad & I started discussing this game, this was a question that came to my mind - and I thought "Heck Yeah." But then as it turns out... I don't actually have that many books that I owned as a kid. Most of them are in this picture:


But of all the books in this picture, only 8 of them are the physical books I owned as a kid. There are a couple in this stack that I thought were my copies from when 30 some odd years ago, but when I look inside at the edition page, I find that more often, they're copies that we got sometime along the way as we've been raising our kids & the wear & tear on them have all happened in my growing family.


There is one book in this stack that I knew without a doubt was my initial copy. When I was 8 years old, my older brother by 5 years gave me The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin.


If memory serves, he didn't give it to me for my birthday, but rather for his. See, his birthday is about 3 weeks after mine and on March 1st of 1987 (his birthday), I was baptized into the religion I was raised in. He gave me the book because HE loved reading & wanted to give me something special that would get me excited about reading.


That day also holds a bit of infamy for both him and me... His birthday, my baptism... And for the lunch my parents prepared for everybody who came to the auspicious occassion... tuna fish sandwiches. Ew. He hated tuna. I hated tuna. I still hate tuna. Its the one food I will still claim to be allergic to. (I think a violent regurgitive reaction qualifies as a bodily allergy). But we were forced to eat tuna... What does this have to do with reading... well... nothing I suppose, but when I see this book, it always serves to bring back that memory as well. I haven't tasted tuna in years now fortunately (perversely - though my wife has similar as I do towards tuna, our kids all seem to like it. Ew)


But back to the book - I can also say this is the first "YA" book that I read. It was the first real "chapter book" I read too. I started it when I was 8. But I don't think I got to finishing it until I was at least 9 or 10, yet I still remembered virtually everything about it without reading it again for about 20 years. I do remember tracing the characters outlines on the cover. I remembered the characters. I remembered the solution to the puzzle. I remembered the mistaken solution some of the characters came up with.


I read it to my kids about 9 or 10 years ago & my second daughter glommed onto it & read it again and again (she's why the cover is taped back on - also being why it fell off. She destroyed HP 5). Until I met my wife, I never really even thought about reading a book twice. But now, it's just how we roll.


Thanks Kevin for a fun book. It meant a lot to me then & still does.

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