by Mark Twain
“Well, everybody does it that way, Huck.”
“Tom, I am not everybody.”
It was probably this short, simple conversation that completely defined my childhood, and perhaps my entire life. You see, I am not everybody…
Hereafter, I intend to write about any book that I have read, that has left an imprint on my mind. And it is only fitting that the first post be about the very first real book I ever read.
Whenever I think of Tom Sawyer, I am immediately transported back to the living room of our old home, my sister sitting on the floor, staring at the presumably blank face of a 6 year old kid. It took almost an hour, and a considerable amount of patience to even complete the first page. The words were obviously familiar, but the punctuation and the writing style seemed alien to my young mind. And if I did ask about the words that didn’t seem familiar, I had an Oxford Dictionary flung at my head. Not the hardbound, okay; my sister isn’t a monster, contrary to popular opinion…
It took me a couple of years to actually complete the book, which, considering my pace, was not surprising. And thereafter, I read and re-read it every few months, discovering a new facet, each time I did.
To an unruly kid with a deep resentment towards his school, reading about Tom and Huck felt like reading about himself, so much so that I even tried to write my own version of its sequel. That was when I was introduced to concepts like copyright laws and plagiarism. But more about that, later…
Now, whether it was just dumb luck, or my sister’s pure genius, that ensured I read the perfect book at the perfect age, or was it simply the influence of the said book that carved a perfect host out of myself, I cannot say. In hindsight, forcing a kid to read this particular book would probably send mixed signals, but one cannot argue with the results her efforts yielded.
Anyway, I do hope I get to visit Missouri someday, and take a ferry ride across the Mississippi River.
I also hope my sister doesn’t read this and torment me, for the coming weeks. She has more than enough ammunition, already…
And for all those who haven’t read this book, it is my sincere appeal that you do. You can get it for free, here:
That is all, for today.