I recently finished the Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee. Alongside a history of bookselling, Buzbee talks about his own book lust. One of my favorite sections of the book was when he talks about the Scholastic Weekly Reader that little order form for books you got at school. I don’t remember it having puzzles, but I do remember going through it with a fine tooth comb trying to figure out what to buy. I was a sucker for the deals like buy three books and get a poster. What I liked about Buzbee, was that like me he was an aimless reader. I’m still a very impulsive reader.
I’m not exactly sure how to fill in the blanks for the origin of my booklust though:
“It’s a common story; fill in your own blanks; I was ___ years old when I happened on a novel called ___ and within six months I had read every other book by the writer known as ___.”
It’s not a cool answer, but it might have been John Bellairs, some time when I was in elementary school. When I was older, it was probably a book of poetry by Sharon Olds or Adrienne Rich. Or, maybe Hermann Hesse. Later it was definitely Barbara Kingsolver but I was long gone by then.