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The Joy of Revisiting

“I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.”

– C.S. Lewis

I have been reading “The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-Ups” by Leonard Sax, MD. PhD. and preparing to review it this month, but last night I finished “Anne of Green Gables.”


I wept.


I was reminded how the characters in books can feel like people we actually know and love.

I don’t remember the first time that I read “Anne of Green Gables” and Lucy Maud Montgommery’s continuing series about Anne Shirley. I know that I loved it the first time that I read it. And the second time I read my very own copy when, as a young adult, I began to purchase those books I *had to own* to start my personal library. Later I fell in love with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) mini-series starring Megan Follows and have watched and rewatched it many times. At last, my VHS tapes went wonky and I moved on to other books and other movies.

I am teaching “Anne of Green Gables” in my literature class this year and, to my delight, I found that Anne has lost none of her charms. I have a student who DOES NOT LIKE READING. Most of my (mostly homeschooled-hybrid) students love to read. This young lady generally reads graphic novels (the value of which James Patterson converted me - in getting non-reading kids interested in books - so no diss to the graphic novel). When we started this book in September she was less than thrilled with this old-fashioned book about an orphan girl. After three weeks she was in. She was ALL IN on the life of Anne Shirley.

Today I assigned the final four chapters and we read chapters 35 and 36 in class together. She held the book close to her heart and said, “I love this book. I don’t want it to end.” That is what reading is all about. And last night when I finished it, again, in preparation for teaching today, it was not as a teacher that I wiped away my tears and held the book to my own heart, but as a reader who had returned to visit kindred spirits and be reminded that a good book is always worth more than one read.

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Sarah Waugh
Sarah Waugh
09 dic 2022

My most life-changing book. In my mid-20's I dyed my hair red, put it in braids and made a pilgrimage to P.E.I. and stood in front of the Green Gables house in tears. I love that Anne is still finding kindred spirits more than a century later.

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