Some things, like frothy pale green dresses, I have loved for as long as I can remember. Others, like granny smith apples, I learned to love gradually. But there are a few things in life that I remember exactly, very specifically, when I fell in love.
One of those things is fairy tales.
When I was thirteen, Dad, Amy, and I drove to Mexico. On the way we stopped in Arizona to visit my Great-Aunt Alleen and Great-uncle Rudy.
The guest room in which Amy and I stayed had a wall of books.
Not just a bookshelf, a literal WALL OF BOOKS. Did you think we would get bored in that house with our dad and our grandfather’s sister? Not a chance.
One of the first books we pulled off the shelf was a hardcover pink volume of fairy tales. “I love fairy tales,” said Amy, and she read the whole thing.
I decided that loving fairy tales sounded like fun, so I decided to love fairy tales too. I also read the pink book cover to cover.
But did I stop there? Oh no. I spent every minute of every day pawing through that bookshelf, looking for more fairy tales. I read about a giant who moved an island, and a king who refused to get out of his bathtub, and little people with tails, called “Littles.” Ah! I loved those Littles.
My fairy tale fever would not be quenched. Wherever we stopped on that trip, I was pulling childcraft books off the shelf, searching for fairy tales. We went home and I borrowed fairy tale books from the library. I did chores for Mom, and spent the money I earned on books of fairy tales, and novels that were re-told fairy tales.
It didn’t come gradually. I walked into my Aunt’s house with a vague idea of what a fairy tale was. I walked out with a feverish love that hasn’t dimmed.
(As an end note, I will say that I eventually started spending my money on things besides fairy tale books, such as college. However, to date I have nineteen [rough count] books that are collections of fairy tales and folklore, and many more that are fairy tale novels.)