There are some books that never leave you. The characters and stories remain as vivid in adulthood as they were when you first read them, however many years pass (The Owl Service, I’m looking at you). The fine details may get fuzzy as the covers become faded on the shelf, but the shape and feel never become strangers.
There are others that become distant; things you know you read, but never realize how they marked you until you trip over them in the dark. It’s the opposite of recognizing a face on the street and struggling to place it; there’s instant recognition and an emotional response, followed by crushing doubt as your rational brain fails to confirm that you know what you’re on about.
What triggered all this mulling?
Chris Addison tweeted ‘The wolves are running, Master Harker.’
My spine contorted with a shiver, although it must be 25 years since I opened The Box of Delights. But I knew that quote and its source, and I could suddenly see the book’s cover in my mind’s eye.
I had no idea it had left such deep tracks in my soul.