The world is so full of a number of things,
I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.
- Robert Louis Stevenson

Friday, 8 October 2010

Countdown: 6 - Attitude with no History (Part II)

All my siblings read to me from time to time when I was little, not just Lukas. ‘Nette was actually quite the bookworm. But I didn’t really discover the beautiful world of literature and the blissful escape it can provide until I was 11 years old. The first book to open that hatch for me, into another, saner world, was the Satanic Mill by Ottfried Preussler. I was sitting in one of the ugly orange moulded-plastic seats outside ‘Nette’s hospital room. My mum was inside with her and the docs, and I was scared shitless. I was supposed to have read the Satanic Mill weeks ago, the test was in 2 days, and I thought, what the hell. Anything to take my mind off the false smiles, the hollow promises, and most of all off the desperation in my mother’s face as she made herself believe the lies.
And you know what? It worked like a charm. From page 2 onward I was lost in the strange, bleak, romantic, magical world of the boy Krabat and his fight against the evil miller. I kept reading every free minute I could scrounge up, deep into the night, and by the next evening I was through. I remember the moment of waking when I suddenly ran out of words the way Wile E. Coyote runs out of street to stand on. I flailed and grasped for anything to keep me from plummeting down into the harsh chasm of reality. What my fingers found and clung to was ‘Nette’s bookshelf. I opened Michael Ende’s Neverending Story, and I suppose I haven’t stopped reading since.
Of course there were comments in school and at football training. But two of my psychopathic fights later those comments died. Reading didn’t make me soft. It made me somewhat numb, however, and that was exactly what it was supposed to do. Is it a wonder then that I found my true vocation in a book?


  1. Curious hints of 'Nette and the hospital, while diverting to the escape in books. I like that.

    If you still have the Satanic Mill, it might be worth going back to it and teasing out some real specific details or lines even. Instead of it being 'strange, bleak, romantic', show just how captivating it was and get the reader more invested in your escape.

    Same thing for Neverending Story. I didn't get to this book until too late in life, btw. The diluted version of the movie held me until I found the book on the shelf of my sweet beau, Shannon.

    I sometimes tease her that I only got into a relationship with her just to read all her books. It was just weird. Her shelves were filled with those oh-yea-I-wanna-read-that-but-never-got-to-it books.

  2. Well, I can only recommend all the books I list in the sidebar. And films. And songs.

    Do you have a fav books list on your blog or so?

  3. And wouldn't Shannon be your sweet belle? ^_^