posted on: August 20, 2009

"For quite a while, Francie had been spelling out letters, sounding them and then putting the sounds together to mean a word. But one day, she looked at a page and the word 'mouse' had instantaneous meaning. She looked at the word, and the picture of a gray mouse scampered through her mind. She looked further
and when she saw 'horse,' she heard him pawing the ground and saw the sun glint on his glossy coat. The word 'running' hit her suddenly and she breathed hard as though running herself. The barrier between the individual sound of each letter and the whole meaning of the word was removed and the printed word meant a thing at one quick glance. She read a few pages rapidly and almost became ill with excitement. She wanted to shout it out. She could read! She could read!"

"From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood. There was poetry for quiet companionship. There was adventure when she tired of quiet hours. There would be love stories when she came into adolescence and when she wanted to feel a closeness to someone she could read a biography. On that day when she first knew she could read, she made a vow to read one book a day as long as she lived."

{A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith, Chapter 22}
{photo via paper tissue}

6 thought{s}:

  1. I love that.

    I've always felt the same way about reading.

  2. i enjoyed reading this. in fact... i think i enjoy reading! lol no but this is cute.

  3. Buhler barely gives this passage justice. (Ha ha) Brittany, this was so so beautiful. Like, I love it so much!! I wish I could more vividly remember my introduction to words, I guess I will just have to revel in my current passion for them. Thanks for sharing this. (P.S. Is the rest of the book THIS good?)

  4. I loved this book. And really enjoyed this reminder. Beautiful.

  5. wow wow wow wow. long long sister again!!! one of my favorite passages from this book. BEAUTIFUL.


She's a piratey soul, full a' vinegar and glitter.

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