Remembering a Golden Age of Reading

Nothing looses a flood of my childhood memories like picking up a Richard Scarry book, with its cartoon 3D diagrams of complex processes such as how wheat becomes bread, how rain becomes electric power, or how justice relentlessly pursues an unrepentant banana thief, all told within the context of the story of the pig family’s picnic, or the Huckle the Cat’s desire for friends.

Michael Sims, a talented nonfiction writer who happens to be married to a colleague, shares this essay about rediscovering childhood reading.

As I knelt down before the low window shelf, the shock of recognition was like meeting my child self in a dream. I was looking at several volumes of The Golden Treasury of Knowledge. This series was published in the late 1950s and early 60s by Golden Press, which also created the pocket-size Golden Nature Guides that introduced me to the world outside the window. Finding these volumes again was like having Amélie plant my childhood toys for me to discover. No, it was like finding the key to the Secret Garden and discovering that, although I am an adult outside the wall, within it I am still a child. From an early age, I felt safe in the garden of books, where I could quietly discover everything at my own pace. — Remembering a Golden Age of Reading – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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