Well, I’ve written about To Kill a Mockingbird and East of Eden a good bit already. I think we’re all clear on my feelings about those two books. But there’s a third — I might have mentioned around here once or twice? — that’s captured me just as much.
That would be The Little Prince (or Le Petit Prince) by Antoine de Saint Exupery.
I don’t remember when I first read this book. Before high school, because in French 3, which I took freshman year, we read it in French and I was already familiar with the story then.
The Little Prince is one of those stories that you read at age 10, age 15, age 21, (I imagine) age 30 and beyond and learn something different each time. Right now (it’s been several years since I read it), the story about the fox getting tamed and, of course, the ephemeral flower are what I remember best. But I expect the next time I read it, something else entirely will stick out to me.
Maybe these are the best books. What’s the line in Ecclesiastes — something about “When I was a child, I played with childish things, and then I became a man and set those things aside”? I can think of so many movies, TV shows, and books I used to read and LOVE when I was little that I just can’t get the same enjoyment out of now. Music too — there are certain songs and artists I listened to in high school and still enjoy in a nostalgic sense, but I’ve moved on from the place in my life when those songs had real meaning to me, and now I just don’t feel the same connection when I listen to them. (Dashboard Confessional springs to mind.)
But you also have the books, movies, music, shows that grow with you. Hell, I even noticed how different it was to watch Friends back in high school and watching it now, at nearly 30, realizing Good Lord, I’m their age now. And yeah, getting different things out of certain episodes.
It’s a rare book — a static thing — that’s able to somehow be and stay alive.