the power of books

(Thank you to those who responded to yesterday's post, which I have now removed for reasons I'll explain in a while to come.)

Currently on my nightstand is Anne of Avonlea, which I must say isn't my favourite of the series, but I've read all the others too recently to go back to them again just yet. I read these books so often because no one else gives me quite the gentle loveliness that LM Montgomery does. I understand the modern desire for something more gritty in children's and adults' literature, but I wish there was more offered to those of us who like dreamy, soulful writing such as this ...

I think the violets are little snips of the sky that fell down when angels cut out holes for the stars to shine through. 

Of course, I also like a dragon or two, and you may be surprised at just how dark LM Montgomery can go.

I admit I have some quite unorthodox views on literature, and I've found myself in trouble for them before. I'll never understand the celebration of graphic violence. I'll also never understand why so many of our modern books for young people use paltry language and impoverished ideas. When I think back to my childhood, books had a deeply profound influence on my psyche and my relationship with the world. They are responsible, even more than my parents and peers, for how I saw things around me : they literally shaped my cognition. And they still echo through the stories I myself tell today - not only the stories that go out to readers, but those which I whisper in the privacy of my own mind.

I'm grateful I had wonderfully rich, compassionate, exciting, thoughtful books to read as a child. I was scrupulously careful to give such books to my own child. I know a lot of parents think I'm too high-minded, but I believe passionately in the power of books to raise the soul - and also to demean it.