BOOKS I LOVED GROWING UP ...


I was introduced, or you may say seduced into reading in an unusual way. It was 1974, I was in 7th grade and my middle brother was a junior in high school. He was completely into skin diving, and deep sea fishing. The year before he caught a 300lb hammer head shark off the coast of Miami. That fish still hangs in his living room today.

Anyway, it’s was June and we were almost out of school which meant we would be taking our semi-annual trek to Florida. One day after school, I walked past my brother’s room and saw the book Jaws on his night stand. “You see the original hard cover copy depicted a nude girl swimming with a large great white rising below. The difference in the first edition was the girl’s body was perfectly detailed. Yes, the illustration showed everything including detail on her private parts. The publishers later altered the image blurring the girls body.

Well, being a healthy 12 year old boy I was—let us say intrigued by the cover. I picked the book up and started thumbing through hoping to find more pictures. Of course, there were none. Remember this was 1974—no internet porn and it was rare when a boy of 12 could get his hands on a Playboy or Penthouse.

That night I started reading. I wanted to know why this girl was swimming naked; I wanted to know about the shark. It was a difficult read for me; it took me almost one month to finish the entire book. It was the first novel I read cover to cover. I actually finished the book in the back of our vista cruiser crossing the Florida border.

I liked the story and I couldn’t wait for the movie. When the movie premiered in 1975 I was disappointed. I realized the movie didn’t take me were Benchley’s words took me. It was then I realized the magic—the escape—the power of the written word. I continue to read anything I can get my hands on.

1 comments:

TheComputerTutor October 31, 2009 at 7:30 PM  
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