Traumatized by Johanna Spyri’s Heidi

Read a novel tonight for work–literary fiction. Gorgeous prose, interesting ideas. But not bloggable because it’s work, so you get a glimpse into the twisted past of the Superfast Reader, and link to the next book on my shelf.

I feel like all my childhood memories are from when I was eight, except for when I knocked my tooth out when I was seven. But I am fairly certain that an incident involving Johanna Spyri’s book Heidi happened when I was a buck-toothed, thick glasses-wearing, Ramona-aged girl who loved to read.

We had this series of faux-leatherbound classics, with titles like The Arabian Nights, Tales of King Arthur, Collected Stories of Hans Christian Anderson, Treasure Island, and some others that I don’t seem to remember, which is weird because I can remember how I picked the leather off the spines as I read, and the way the full-color inserts felt cold beneath my fingertips.

Anyway, we went on a family trip to visit my Grandma and Grandpa in Nebraska, and for some reason, I only brought one book with me: Johanna Spyri’s Heidi. You have to understand that I was reading up a frenzy at this time, devouring library books almost faster than I could check them out. (See the picture on my about page.)

This was the stupidest idea I ever had in my life. Well, not quite, considering the fact that my younger brother barely escaped childhood with all four limbs intact, thanks to my ideas. But I blew through Heidi on the plane, and because “not read” was not an option, I ended up reading the stupid book like five more times that week. I needed to read so bad that I forced myself to endure reading the same words over and over again. It was not fun. I did not enjoy it.

But it was better than not reading at all.

Next on the bookshelf:
Lloyd Alexander’s The Book of Three, first in his children’s adventure series set in the vaguely Welsh fantasy land of Prydain. This is great adventure for kids, and a series I really cherished when I was younger.

The Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain)

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