by Treehouse Editors
If you haven’t heard the news, Ray Bradbury, 91, died today. Readers all over the world have lost a favorite author.
I was lucky enough to never have his book Fahrenheit 451 assigned in grade school. Nothing ruins my appetite for a book more than being forced to read it. My first introduction to Ray Bradbury came voluntarily, snooping around my brother’s bookshelf. I wanted to read a big-kid book, and Fahrenheit 451 caught my eye because the cover art made it seem damaged. It quickly became one of my favorite books, both in subject and style, and my brother let me keep it. Just yesterday while getting ready to move back to my hometown, I lay that old, treasured book down in a box.
The news of Bradbury’s death, though it makes me sad, reminds me of one great benefit of reading: connecting with other people. Reading is a lonely activity, so I treasure the chance to talk with others who have walked in those same worlds. One of the most surprising connections I’ve made was with the newspaper guy who brought the Star News to my workplace every morning around 3:30 a.m. (I like to imagine this is the exact time Bradbury passed). Over the course of several conversations, he recounted the plot of Something Wicked This Way Comes and shared how he could relate to it, reminiscing about the traveling carnival that always came to town when he was younger. After that, we talked almost every night about music, science, and especially books. Newspaper Guy recommended half a dozen of Bradbury’s other works, but I still haven’t looked for them at the library. Maybe now is the time.