The Forgotten Words of Childhood

I was wandering through the library today for English lesson today, and I saw this book called “The Child That Books Built” by Francis Spufford. I flipped through it, and something in it made me have goosebumps to stand on my back.

It was sort of those moments that made me think about my childhood. My mom loved books, and we used to have a library full of books. I loved reading about the grim brother’s stories, and tons of other fairy tales. I have gone through one of the hardest times in my life by reading books after books. Savoring the taste of the first book and diving into the second one without any waste of time.

The book starts off with, ” I can always tell when you’re reading somewhere in the house,” my mother used to say. “There’s a special silence, a reading silence.” I never heard of it, This extra degree of hush that somehow traveled through walls and ceilings to announce that my seven-year-old self had become about as absent as a present person” (Spufford 1).

Because yes, I have had those moments before; in elementary, I was always the first person to leave the school because I had other important business to do, and by important business, I mean reading. But it was different then; I had so little to care about, I can just sit there and read from afternoon till night. Homework was the least of my concerns.

I find that I have so little time to go into the deep readings that I did 5 years ago. The amount of books that I have read and the pace that I am reading the books just keeps on diminishing. Part of it is because I was reading other articles and short paragraphs like fanfics or research documents. But none of that was nourishing to me. It wasn’t the food for the soul. It’s not the jam in the bread. It was until today that I realized how dry up inside and how plain my life has become. I have forgotten all the closets that contain the entrance to a magical world, all the peas that can grow as tall as the sky, all the houses that are made out of sweet candies, and the evil witches that are waiting for lost children.

I have forgotten how the syllables rolls off your tongue and the savory taste of it afterward, the simple fulfilled happiness of just saying them.

The picture of my mom holding me in her arms, and the pile of books lying beside the nightstand still lingers in the distant memories of my childhood. Her voice, soft but enough to wispher life into each words, gave colours to the fiction world I was able to see.

“And as I walk down the aisles, I remember that in every novel there are reverses, that all plots twist and turn, that sadness and happiness are just the materials authors use, in arrangements I know very well; and at that thought the books seem to kindle into a kind of dim life all around me, each one unfolding its particular nature into my awareness without urgency, without haste, as if a column of gray, in substantial smoke were rising from it, softening the air…. Among these drifting pillars, the true story of my life looks no different; it is just a story among other stories, and after I have been reading for a while, I can hardly tell anymore which is my own” (Spufford 210).


Author: yudi

I am a high school student from Mississuaga, Ontario.

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