I thought I published this post several weeks ago, but it’s apparently been chilling in my drafts the whole time.
Is there a book that you read when you were younger that stuck with you for years even though you didn’t keep the book or read it again? For me, that book was The Wish List by Eoin Colfer. I read it and loved it, but I got rid of it. I didn’t hoard books when I was younger. The only books I made sure to hold onto were my Shel Silverstein poems and Harry Potter. Pretty much everything else was traded away somehow to get new reading material. Big shout out to Mom for convincing me to keep the Silverstein books; don’t let your kids throw out the books they love. Trust me, they will want them again one day.
So The Wish List. For a little while, I forgot about it, and then suddenly I wanted this book back. It took me some time to remember the title and author, and when it did come back, I spent YEARS looking for it. I searched in every bookstore I went to and every library sale. It was nowhere to be found. Some of you are probably wondering why I didn’t just buy it online. I honestly don’t know. I just felt the need to find it in person. One day McKay’s (my favorite used bookstore in Nashville) delivered. I was so excited! Guess what happened next…
I didn’t read it for several months. Yep. You read that correctly. I found it in July, and I didn’t read it until February. Again, I don’t really know why. Every time it came time to pick out my next book to read, I contemplated The Wish List but never cracked it open. Maybe I was worried I would be disappointed after looking for it for so long. Maybe I was worried it was going to ruin me emotionally with nostalgia. Your guess is as good as mine.
SO what happened when I read it? I loved it. I had forgotten almost the whole story except for a vague notion that Heaven and Hell were involved. The story is written for young readers, but it tackles some tough ideas about karma (oddly karma was also a big theme in Gun, with Occasional Music, which is the last book I read). Colfer’s voice is delightful, and he treats the afterlife with an appropriate note of levity. I found myself laughing, thinking about mortality, and producing beautiful mental pictures all because of Colfer’s writing.
I am very happy to have found the book and found that it grows with the reader well. Of course, I recommend it to all readers young and old. I will definitely not be letting it go this time, and I plan on reading it many more times before I travel through the tunnel.