Do you know what magic feels like?
I’m not speaking of magic tricks, or Magic: the Gathering, or Wiccan magic.
I’m talking about real magic.
“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
When I was growing up, my father encouraged reading. It was kind of a thing with me. Every day I was reading books. The books could be educational, religious, young adult, and on and on and on. I read so much that I developed a love for reading.
When I first experienced what I’m calling magic, it was when I was in the seventh grade. I had a friend who was reading a book outside of class (picture us in Hawaii, at Aliamanu Intermediate School, where the classrooms themselves led to outdoor walkways, as opposed to what you find most places in the CONUS).
“What’chu reading?” I asked him after getting over my feelings of impoliteness.
He looked up at me with this huge smile and then handed me the book. My eyes lit up at the cover, this painting of three characters standing at a doorway, one of whom held a glowing ball of light in his hands.
“The Elfstones of Shannara,” I said, whispering to myself.
“You want to borrow it?” he asked. “I’ve already read it.”
“Are you sure?” I ask in return.
“Yeah. Just give it back to me when you’re finished.”
From the very first word of that back, I understood what magic was. Not the magic detailed in the book, mind you (as Elfstones should imply the book was heavy with magic). It was raw wonder racing through me, dancing on my nerves, invigorating me.
I read that book in a few days because I just couldn’t get enough. The Elfstones of Shannara, which turned out to be the second book of the series I’d eventually complete from the beginning, is easily my favorite book of all time.
I was inspired to write this post because I saw a question on Facebook: what is your favorite book of all time? One of the answers to the question was “If you can give a single answer to that question, then you haven’t read enough books.”