Sunday, February 21, 2021

The first time books saved my life

No, not in a melodramatic movie-of-the-week way. I was not on the verge of self-destruction. It was more literal.

When I was 3 or 4, I wandered off at the mall. My terrified parents soon found me safe…sitting on the floor of a bookstore, surrounded by books, lost not only in a shopping center but also in a book. 

No photo of that, of course, but here’s a proxy (the first known photo of me with a book):

Though I still love reading and (no surprise) grew to love writing, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that books have saved me at any point since because I have had the blessing of a mostly trauma-free life. But something doesn't have to save you to help build or fulfill you.

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