I am re-reading Heidi by Johanna Spryi right now.
“Bah,” said Scrooge, “Humbug.”
What is more enjoyable than reading about Ebenezer Scrooge and then reciting the story to my sister at night? Both of us enjoyed being whisked into Dickens lovely imagination.
Revelling over clever usage of words and delightful wit -The very first page of the book where Dickens starts with the phrase “as dead as a Door-Nail” and sarcastically speaks about “the wisdom of the ancestors” and how he dare not question it inspite of the fact that, he would rather regard a “Coffin-Nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade”. If you ever saw me clapping my hands with glee, it would have been while reading (over and over again) this page.
Reflecting over how much of a Scrooge I have been.
Understanding myself and the world around me a little better – The same lesson of being good was brought to life in an entirely new and provocative way. I found myself imagining how long an iron chain I am bound by like Marley’s ghost and trying to prevent such evil ends by being kinder. Sometimes real life is so complex, I lose my footing and forget what is important. It’s like staring at one small piece in the puzzle and forgetting the bigger picture of the entire puzzle. And I need these books, to remind me.
A taste of magic and merriness – “I don’t know what to do!” cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect Laocoön of himself with his stockings. “I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to every-body! A happy New Year to all the world! Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!”
Christmas is brought to life in this book, as magical and merry as it ever was.
Some simple lessons – “No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused”
Learn new things – Did you know about the long standing myth about the “organ of benevolence” in Phrenology? Well, it was fun to find out! How about the “Dog days?” From July 3 to August 11, when Sirius, the Dog Star, rises and sets with the sun. The hottest days of the year are called the dog days. There was no shortage of clever puns and witty references of the 19th century in this book – for eg. the “Total Abstinence Principle.”
I chuckled so hard at that. The pledge refers to Teetotalers abstaining from alcoholic spirits which Dickens describes as a pun on Scrooge’s total abstinence from (supernatural) spirits.
A magical story, capturing the hearts of people young and old… and through changing times it will always stay that way. This is why fiction may just be stories but nevertheless teach you a thing or two.