Thursday, July 15, 2010

Treasure Island

I have a much-too large collection of old books. (Nah, one can't have too many books) Occasionally I pick one from its shelf and peruse it for old-times' sake. I decided a few days ago to re-read Treasure Island. My copy was published between 1901 and 1904. I know this because the company that printed it was in business only during those years. The book is intact, except for bits and pieces of paper that have flaked off in handling; and a lot more of these bits fell to the lap and the floor during my recent handling of the book. But the text is all there, undamaged.

I have come to suspect that when most people say, "I am re-reading..." followed by the name of a classic, they in truth are reading it for the first time. I know that that is true for me in this case. As were you, if you are "of a certain age," I was introduced to Stevenson and this story in high school Freshman English class. And though I have been, since toddler stage, a voracious reader, guess what would "kill" the desire to read a selection quicker than anything? Give up? To have it assigned in class to be read. Thus I probably learned that RLS was a seminal novelist, that this particular story is a morality tale and a "coming of age" tour de force, blah, blah blah, and yet I never read it until last week! Shame on me? Indeed. But I was fourteen, what do you expect?
I quite enjoyed this story; and I think I would have done when I was fourteen. What's the difference between a fourteen year-old boy and a seventy-six year old man? About 62 years.
Here you go, Miss Long. I've completed that assignment.

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