The evolution from picture books to text-only materials was gradual, but memorable. There seemed to have been an unwritten disdain for picture books that manifested after each birthday, each disposed oversized pyjamas and each replaced tooth. It wasn’t self-wrought however, but acquired, either from older peers with fancier stories of intimate relations with the written word resulting in inspiring encounters, or jealousy of even fancier ones with fantastic tales of their reading prowess. Something gave, however, for sure, little by little, and the young reader emerged, ready to take on the reading world without accompanying images.
The most memorable of such recollection could be the singular, but eventually impossible task of reading the first chapter of The Tiger by the Tail during a bus ride from home to school. It didn’t matter to him in the least that he couldn’t make any sense of it yet, never having even applied himself to more than just a few words on each page he flipped. It matter though that people saw him with a book that was bigger than a storybook, had no pictures in it, and moved from page to page as if passing through the patient and critical eyes of an avid reader. “Hey, nice book. How’re you finding it?” Someone would ask sometimes during the day, and he would respond: “Oh, very nice. Chase is such an exquisite writer”, and move on before the probing went far beyond the familiar. Oh the days.
The blog, now splattered with colours and images, flesh and blood, of ordinary and extraordinary people of various places, beliefs and convictions, could only remind of such trivialties; of days when colour meant ordinariness, and a lack of sophistication needed for the rites of adulthood. Now only a smile remains, and a longing for such a not so distant past of innocence and silliness.
Welcome September, and the year of birth.