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Missed the point…

the reading garden

Unfortunately, there is still no worst book. Because the book I was certain was the worst, now has a different place in the ranking queue.

In the middle of explaining why I detested this book, I realized I had been blinded by my own prejudices and puritanical sensibilities. I missed appreciating the lyrical language of the book, the dimensionality of the characters and the exquisite timing of the action. I sought a conversation with one of our students, whose opinion I respect.

She gracefully recounted the reasons she valued the book. What struck me was the way she summarized the essence of the plot: “it is about what happens to people’s souls,” she remarked. Had we read the same book?

So I sat down and re-read the book.

And I discovered I had missed the point entirely. A precious gem had been cast aside for transgressions that I had imposed on it. It was good to get a second chance to appreciate this book.

I’ve enjoyed reading your posts about your worst book, talking with my co-librarians at school and to faculty, friends and family. We’ve wandered through quite a lot of territory; including psychology and philosophy. It’s been chewy, spicy, delicately fragile and richly textured. Listening to your explanations I’ve been invited into your world, and I’m grateful for your trust.

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