Second Response to The Child That Books Built

"For me, such words demonstrated the autonomy of stories. In stories, words you never heard spoken nonetheless existed. They had another kind of existence. They acted---upon objects likewise made of words" (Spufford 76).

This phrase really stuck out for me while reading more of this memoir. Spufford's narration jumps between being a kid who has just begun reading, and the man he is today whose life revolves around books. In some cases, though, like this one, the line between the two is quite fuzzy. In stories, everyone is a kid again, no matter what book is being read. New vocabulary is discovered, sometimes made-up vocabulary, but either way one's view of the world is expanded a bit more with every book read. Not only do words never before spoken have "another kind of existence," but they also draw the reader into this alternate state of being. The reader experiences the action of these unknown words in a breakthrough unparallel by anything else, especially by anything of a non-literary nature.

Spufford, Francis. The Child That Books Built. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2002.

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