Child That Books Built

Spufford, Francis. The Child That Books Built: a Life in Reading. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2002.

The Child That Books Built is an explanation for an addiction. Francis Spufford’s addiction. Right up front Spufford admits to his insatiable need to read, starting when he was a young child. He would explain his relationships with books as such, “Reading catatonically wasn’t something I chose to do…the stopping my ears with fiction was non-negotiable” (p 2). Once he gets his explanations out of the way he goes on to explain how all the reading he had done as a child shaped his world as an adult. Drawing on psychology and philosophy to make his points Spufford connects the world of Narnia to that of religious adoration; the Little House on the Prairie to that of family and community.

Quote that caught me off guard for its timing: “No addiction is ever explained by examining the drug. the drug didn’t cause the need. A tour of a brewery won’t explain why somebody became an alcoholic” (p 11). Wow. Wow. Wow.

Reason read: The Library of Congress National Book Festival is in September. This year it is the weekend of the 21st.

Author fact: Spufford also wrote I May Be Some Time for which he won the Sunday times Young Writer award in 1997.

Book trivia: Despite being short (only 210 pages) this book packs a punch. Be prepared.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Books About Books” (p ) and from More Book Lust in the introduction (p ix).



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