Wed, 03 Sep 2003
Has any book changed your life for the better?
Dear Easy Reader,
Obviously, like most chemically-enhanced poet-philosophers who wield a fulsome pen of electric lightning with a mighty science godhand, Mister Wonderful was profoundly influenced by There's a Monster at the End of this Book starring lovable furry old Grover.
At the very least, it taught me the difference between a hook and a tease.
But for a book that inestimably bettered the life of Wonderful, and earlier than just last week, well...
Some years ago, I was in the public library of a small New England town looking for some evidence that my ancestor Josiah Wonderful hadn't actually allowed the Shoggoth to possess him, so much as borrow his smoking jacket for the weekend. Quite by accident I found myself reading a terrifying account of Benjamin Franklin's attempts to pitch woo at Betsy "Grammy Jammy" Ross. It was at the moment I read the words, "Poore Richard needs a little helpe, here" that I realized a gilt-spined book had spontaneously fallen from a high shelf not three yards from my reading chair. The flame-haired lady librarian who ran the place bent over to pick up the tome, and as she did her loose plaid skirt rose up the back of her legs, revealing inch by fascinating inch of long black stocking seam, until at last there appeared the tiniest hint of ivory clasp, heralding the presence of an elegant garter belt.
I tell you, sir, that book I never read led to an improvement in my life so profound that I still walk funny when it gets quiet.