Don’t looked so shocked. You knew I would be back. And look, I’ve written twenty blog posts in my brain—I just haven’t transcribed them to the Interenets yet. Give me time. I’m down to two jobs now and the holiday season is behind us, so we’ll have plenty of free time. That noise you just heard was the universe laughing at me.
Once upon a time, Christine was twelve. It such a long time ago. I had a pen pal and she lived in New Zealand. We were both homeschooled and our mom’s decided we should read a book together for school or something. Honestly, the details are a little fuzzy, and maybe I was thirteen, but regardless a book was chosen and that book was David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.
You might have heard of him.
Anyways, I read David Copperfield and I fell in love. I fell in love with the characters, the language, and the beautiful, wonderful, rambling sentences that only Dickens could write. Seriously, the man could go on and on and I love to read him go on and on and it may be where I picked up my rambling tendencies and maybe, just maybe, that is why I had to name my blog something with the word “rambling” in it. Because that is what I do and I learned from the best.
The first Dickens I bought was David Copperfield. It was a lovely vintage edition that was part of a massive set that was on sale at the local Half-Price bookstore. I saved up my babysitting money and would go back and pick out another book from the set to add to my collection (or coerced my mom into buying them for me, like I said, my brain is a little fuzzy on the factual details). But one day I returned to find they rest had all been bought! Oh the sadness. The OCD part of my brain was heartbroken to know I would not able to have a complete and matching set.
And then a lovely illustrated copy of A Tale of Two Cities was bought for another English assignment. When I visited my pen pal in New Zealand when I was fifteen, I bought five Dickens books that were compact, soft-bound leather, with the tinest print and perfect for carrying around whilst traveling. And that is when my ecclectic, mis-matched, vintage Dickens book collection really began. Now, whenever I travel, I check out used bookstores for old and interesting copies of Dickens work to add to my collection. I added Sketches by Boz on another trip to Auckland and Nicholas Nickleby was picked up…in Texas, somewhere. When I visit the Strand in March with Kate (because that is happening, I’ll tell you about it later), I’ll be sure to look for a copy of Great Expectations, because I really can’t believe I don’t already own a copy.
I know I’m a day late, but I want to wish my beloved Dickens a very happy 200th birthday. I wish he was still around to celebrate it with me. I do love him so.