I’ve been planning to write this post for a while and now I’ve finally written it.
I have several books that go beyond the great category to become Special Books. You may be able to relate. Whether it’s an old favorite, a book read to you as a child, or one that helped you get through a tough time in life it now holds a special place in your heart. As I mentioned, I have more than one such book. For starters there’s Redwall by Brian Jaques which was the first large chapter book I read. The Rangers Apprentice Series is another. Other than being an exceptional collection of books these stories helped me get through a very dark time in my life. There are a few others but the one that holds the highest pedestal in my mind are J. R. R. Tolkien’s: The Lord of the Rings.
For several months whenever my wife and I went to Barnes and Noble I would take a moment to glance at and admire the 75th anniversary boxed set edition of this classic fantasy. I’d been looking for a beautiful set to add to my bookshelf and I was certain this would be it. There are a lot of nice copies out there, but this one was the one because it had the Alan Lee cover art that I remembered from the versions my father read to me when I was younger. But alas, being a poor married college student I couldn’t justify buying it as much as I would have liked to do so.
Skipping ahead to the more recent past (end of July) it was our first anniversary, and I had just given my wife what she had been wanting for a long time: a Kitchen Aid. After which she had me close my eyes as she brought out my gift. We were both too lazy to wrap either of our gifts, so when I was allowed to open my eyes she was standing in front of me holding The Lord of the Rings edition I had been admiring for so long. Here it is:
To put it mildly I was excited. They don’t look exactly like I remember them but they have the same art work, fold out maps in the back, and nice embossment and inner cover art under the dust cover.
If there are only two books that everyone should have it’s (1) the book that got them interested in reading and (2) their special book (or books). Every time I look at them, and especially every time I re-read them, it’s a trip down memory lane to a series of happy memories. I have started reading them out loud to my wife and I’m glad I am because there’s so much I have forgotten.
Once you discover and create a relationship with books there is a magic that is born. Is it a scientific energy or bond? Possibly a psychological one, but a good book becomes a good friend. They can impact your life like any person you know because the written word is magical. When we let them, they will take us anywhere in the world or in the imagination to teach us about our lives and the reality of our potential. This may sound cliché, but when you find that book which, for whatever reason, grabs your attention and touches your mind in that unique way it’ll make sense.