I love Matilda by Roald Dahl more than any of his other books, and not just for the story, the message, or the title character, but because it spoke to me, as a child, in a way that so many of the other books I had read, before and after, did not. I felt like an outsider in my family and at school. Even though my parents weren’t anything like Matilda’s parents, and I never came across a Miss Trunchbull at school, I was the target of a considerable amount of bullying, and at one point I really wondered if I had been adopted. Sometimes I even wished I had been adopted; at least then I’d have an explanation as to why I was so different. There’s a lot more to my childhood than I can, or am willing to, write about, but suffice it to say I found quite a bit of solace in Matilda.
“These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.”
Of course, my favorite quotes from Matilda are those involving Matilda’s love for books.
“From then on, Matilda would visit the library only once a week in order to take out new books and return the old ones. Her own small bedroom now became her reading-room and there she would sit and read most afternoons, often with a mug of hot chocolate beside her.”
I LOVED the library when I was a kid, especially when I got old enough to go by myself. I could, and many times would, spend hours looking up and then reading books about whatever subject had grabbed my mind at the time, or whichever fiction author’s books I was currently interested in. Nobody bothered me, and I could disappear into other worlds. The same held true for my bedroom, as long as my sister wasn’t around.
“It was pleasant to take a hot drink up to her room and have it beside her as she sat in her silent room reading in the empty house in the afternoons. The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives.”
What is it about the combination of a hot drink and a good book? For whatever reason, the two just go together, regardless of the time of year. I don’t care if it’s the middle of a Texas Summer, I’m having a hot chai when I go to the bookstore’s cafe, and if they make it correctly, it will be just cool enough to drink by time I’ve stopped sweating.
“This allowed her two glorious hours sitting quietly by herself in a cozy corner, devouring one book after another.”
With my course load this semester, I only have about 30 minutes before bed in which to read something that isn’t school related, but those 30 minutes curled up on the couch with a book and a blanket are still glorious.
“All the reading she had done had given her a view of life that they had never seen.”
I truly feel bad for people who don’t see any value in books or think reading is a waste of time or a sign of laziness.