Spooky

Life is full of mystery.

I was poking around in a second-hand bookshop the other day and stumbled across this…

Which sort of spooked me because this book was published in Sydney by Angus and Robertson in 1939. It’s an anthology of poetry for younger readers. Perhaps this book and I crossed paths in an earlier time but I doubt it. Maybe the old lady who ran my favourite bookshop back in the 1960s was familiar with this book. I wish I could remember her name. If anyone reading this blog know who that old lady was, I’d love to the hear from them. I think I have become a firm believer in serendipity.

In the same week that I discovered an Australian book that bore the same name as my blog, I started re-reading Eleanor Farjeon’s ‘The Little Bookroom”. I must have read it as a kid because the stories had a resonance that echoed somewhere deep inside me. In the introduction to the collection Farjeon wrote about a room in her childhood home that her family had dubbed ‘the little bookroom’. “That dusty bookroom, whose windows were never opened, through whose panes the summer sun struck a dingy shaft where gold specks danced and shimmered, opened magic casements for me through which I looked out on other worlds and times than those I lived in: worlds filled with poetry and prose and fact and fantasy.”

‘The Little Bookroom’ was first published in 1955 so perhaps I did read it as a child, though it has slipped from my consciousness, as have many of the thousands of books I read in my growing up. Maybe the books we read in our childhood plant seeds inside us that only flower after many decades. It spooked me to see the forgotten past of lost books linking up to my present enchantment with the notion of books as ‘magic casements’. But then there is something very satisying to know that the past, the present and the future are all so inextricably bound together. Nothing is truly lost, everything is connected. Spooky.

Kirsty is an Australian author of books for children and young adults.

“Books are windows into other ways of being.”

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