“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there. It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
It’s hard to believe that I hadn’t read this book until now. I read The Martian Chronicles and lots of Ray Bradbury’s short stories, but this one always slipped through the cracks, despite it being his most celebrated book. When he died earlier this year, I bought a copy from Indigo because it was high time I finally read it, but then I got caught up in Infinite Jest, which ruined my reading for a summer because it was so draining, and left it until now.
I have so many feelings about this book, it may now be one of my favourites. Bradbury had my heart racing for the length of the novel as he described what would quite literally be my hell – a world where all books are burned.
I sincerely recommend all things Ray Bradbury. Also I am losing Bookstravaganza by a landslide due to exceptionally long work hours, but that is okay. It’s not about how much you read, it’s what you get out of it, and even at a whopping total of four books, I’m having a rewarding old time.
Current total: 4
(PS: In golf, it’s the lowest score that wins!)