Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Hooked me into reading: Star Trek 10 by James Blish #bookaday

Today I have to choose a book that hooked me into reading.

I could have gone for the Peter and Jane books, or the works of Enid Blyton, particularly The Enchanted Wood, The Magic Faraway Tree and The Wishing Chair. Or the Target Doctor Who books. They all played a huge part in giving me a love of reading and teaching me how to do it.

But I decided instead to highlight Star Trek 10 by James Blish, a true watershed book: the first book I got out from the big library!

When I was little, the children's library was a separate building with a separate entrance. It backed on to the grown-up library and behind the scenes I doubt there was much of a distinction. But going into the big library was a big deal for a kid.

I had learned how to use the library's microfiche catalogue to see which Doctor Who books it was worth searching for. From that I discovered that a copy of Star Trek 10 was in the grown-up library next door.

I asked a librarian, and was told I was indeed allowed to get books out from the big library. Imagine my excitement! So I went next door, found the book on the sf shelf, and took it to the counter - which I could barely reach.

The book scared the heck out of me and gave me nightmares for years. It contained "The Empath", in which I think Bones get stuffed into a giant test tube. And then (spoiler) the Empath takes all his appalling wounds onto herself, which was heartbreaking.

But I had crossed the threshold into reading grown-up books. I was a reader for life!

The Blish adaptations are still my favourite version of Star Trek. And I still find them frightening.

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