I love books about books. This past year, I not only enjoyed reading several of Pat Conroy’s books, but I especially enjoyed his book about his own readings.
My Reading Life is an enjoyable book. Conroy tells of his own reading experiences, favorite books, book store adventures, and contacts with fellow authors and literary folks. Sometimes, he is too rough around the edges (and not just the edges), but Conroy is a master stylist and a powerful wordsmith. I often have to slow down and read his prose slowly just to hear the poetry in it.
I bought a copy of My Reading Life this past summer at a Half Price Bookstore in Dallas (guided there by my friend Kent Travis). At some point, after I finished the book, Nick carried it off to Wheaton where it remains.
About a month ago, I found another copy of the book. It was ‘like new.’ The only thing that was not ‘like new’ was the price–$2–for a hardback book. It is always useful to have a second copy of a good book, so I bought it.
Today, I took that copy to my classroom so that I could read about Conroy’s experience in being coaxed into reading Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. I opened the book, turning to the title page, and then nearly passed out.
THE BOOK IS AUTOGRAPHED BY MR. CONROY.
I showed each student in the class the autograph and then walked out in the hall and yelled, “This is amazing.” What a day! What a blessing!