Essays of E.B. White

A few weeks ago the author the the Mrs. Peregrine’s series of books visited a local book shop, The King’s English, in Salt Lake City. The book shop anchors a block growing with businesses isolated in a neighborhood made of young families and forward thinking couples who “can see raising a family here.” The shop itself was once a home. The proprietors added rooms to accommodate their popularity or, as with most book lovers, to accommodate more books.

Our family likes to visit the small book shop. They invite authors we enjoy reading. Our kids prepared for the event. They finished listening to the first Mrs.Peregrine’s audiobook and watched the movie, “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”. They were excited to ask the author questions.

Ransom Riggs, the author, sat in the room lined with children’s books. The room filled quickly with kids and even more excited parents. My wife and kids snaked through the maze of bodies. Their lithe limbs squeezed onto vacant patches of carpet toward the back.

I wandered through the other rooms hoping to find a chair. Success, a small room with a wicker chair. Next to the chair I found a section of books instructing me on the craft of writing. I noticed a light blue spine, “The Essay’s of E.B. White.” Not one to notice plain light blue book spines, I plucked it from the shelf.

I read the first sentence of the Preface. “The essayist is a self-liberated man, sustained by the childish belief that everything he thinks about, everything that happens to him, is of general interest (White).” I knew at that moment I shall read this book. I approached the cashier and purchased it before prudence set. Returning to the wicker chair, I started reading the first essay.

(White) Essays of E.B. White, First Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 1999