When I was 8 or 9 my parents’ friend came to visit us from Canada. I loved it when he’d visit because he always brought presents. Not little tourist trinkets either — he shopped at Harrods. On this visit, he gave me a red, leather-bound book of Alice in Wonderland.
I’d never owned a book anywhere near as fancy as that. And I’m not sure if it was for that reason, or for something completely different, I never read it.
Alice in Wonderland moved with me through house moves and sat, quite proudly on my bookshelf. Unread until about 5 years ago when I decided to read the book to my sons.
Each evening I’d read a chapter or two. They’d sit next to me, eyes wide in amazement of the adventures Alice found herself in. They giggled, they gasped then they pleaded with me to read Through the Looking Glass.
And do you know what? I detested that book. Every turn of the page filled me with the dread that overleaf there was more gibberish. I hoped my sons would forget about the book and want me to read something else, anything else, but they didn’t.
I would seriously consider turning down an obscene amount of money as a bribe to read it again. A is for Alice in Wonderland. A also stands for awful.