The Elusive Magic of a Good Story


Last week I picked up ten books from the library, which wasn’t easy. Long ago I hit the library red flag list and my card pulls up some kind of warning to the librarians, so I get that look every time. You know the one! The “you had better bring all of these books back on time or so help me…”

But, I digress.

So, I get these ten books and out of the ten there is only one which has pulled me in and kept me reading. I got to thinking about that.

Am I being too picky?

As a lifelong reader, have I become jaded?

Since I write now myself, am I all full of myself and therefore have some warped sense of superiority. Which really does not make sense because I don’t have any books in a library!!

Or have the authors gotten worse and have they lost the magic of storytelling?

After reviewing my book shelves and remembering with fondness all my “first times” with the greats, such as Austen, Conan Doyle, Keene, Michaels, Christie….etc, etc, etc, I realized with much sadness- “with every year that passes golden tickets become harder to find, Charlie.”

Age does bring wisdom, but it can also bring cynicism, prejudices and the loss of adventure.

When I first read Nancy Drew, I had no idea she was going to figure out the mystery every time.
Because of my love of Jane Austen, I have read everything I can find on the subject of her books, but now when I reread her books distracting thoughts keep popping into my head…“Well, that was a very male centered proto-feminist thing to say, wasn’t it, Mr. Darcy!”

And I can’t stop flipping to the author’s bio and making mental notes of reviews.

It’s not the books —it’s me.

I remember the very first book I ever asked for as a present. The book was There’s a Wocket in my Pocket by Dr. Suess and I had seen it at a B. Dalton’s. I wanted it because I could read it all by myself. I showed it to my Dad, who didn’t buy it for me right then, but remembered the book and I found it wrapped up under the tree at Christmas a few months later. Wow! I still remember the feeling of excitement and enchantment when I pulled off the paper.

Will I ever find the magic again? Who knows for sure, but I am determined to try.

The magic is still out there, but my eyes need to refocus and lose a little of the adult vision which clouds them.


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