Sunday, November 26, 2006

All Over but the Shoutin' (notes)

Rick Bragg discusses his early affection for reading...

I couldn’t hammer a nail without bending it or severely damaging myself or someone standing near, and if you had depended on me to feed the fire or the hog we would have froze to death, huddled with our emaciated pig. I was a dreamer, and while I loved the woods and the creeks and the natural bounty of our world, I also loved to bury myself in books. After all the lights were shut out, I would cover my head, click on the flashlight, and read as long as the batteries lasted from You Were There books about the Alamo, the Creek Indian Wars, the Battle of New Orleans. I solved mysteries with the Hardy Boys, and drifted down the Mississippi with Mark Twain. By the time I was in the eighth grade, I had read every book—except the ones for the little kids—in the tiny library at Roy Webb Junior High School. I am not bragging. I was just hungry. When I was out of books, I just found a quiet place to dream. p91