Books make me happy. Books about book lovers also makes me happy. A book about book lovers telling children why books make them happy makes me happy.
So really A Velocity of Being, Letters to Young Readers edited by Maria Popova and Claudia Bedrick ($52.50, PGC Books, Enchanted Lion Books) was a win the moment I opened the package and pulled out this beautiful book.
I love the cover. I love that it’s blue (which also makes me happy) with a picture of a book on the front. I love that it is hard cover and that it is thick; thick with the wisdom of people who love books as much as I do.
Letters are no longer than a page and often much shorter: a few graphs written to young readers telling them the importance of books in their own lives. We get a short author bio underneath the letter and then the following page is an illustrated picture of what the author was trying to say. The illustrations – some I liked, some I didn’t – are as varied as the authors.
I was reading one letter a night to my 10-year-old son, but after a half dozen or so he refused to hear any more. I don’t blame him. Many of the letters are written by people he doesn’t know nor has he read their books. For the most part that wouldn’t be a problem, but some of the letters are so advanced in thought and word choice he didn’t understand what they were saying until I explained them in regular English; other letters were written in a style neither of us enjoyed.
A favourite of mine is the letter by Neil Gaiman – it was short, written in a way that was easily understood and said everything I love about books.
So while I am no longer reading this book to my son, I am reading it for myself so I can be surrounded by people who love books as much as I do.
A copy of this book was provided by PGC Books for an honest review.
The opinions are my own.