One of my fondest memories of Christmas is from a couple of decades back when I was the only person working at our public library the afternoon of December 24. I remember a few people straggling in and out, most returning books not anticipating having time for extra reading. The silence, the heavenly peace among the books, the happy mood of the patrons of the public library sanctified the day.
This Christmas week I’m giving myself a much anticipated and long planned treat, I’m going to read “Way Station” by Clifford Simak to my nieces. My first reading of it made another Christmas stand out among the others It’s a book I’ve never known anyone to not like. .
The story is simple and, for early 1960s Sci-fi, original. Enoch Wallace, the Civil War veteran cut off from the rest of humanity by his job as the sole attendant at an interplanetary railroad station, his closest friend Ulysses, an alien, and Lucy Fischer, the deaf, non-communicating, child of a no-account hillbilly neighbor, who turns out to be not only the most important person on the planet but in the galaxy are sketched well and, I hope, with enough skill to keep two ‘tweens from fighting like rival moon shiners for a week.
Even if you don’t have to keep two feuding sisters apart you might want to check it out of the library to read or reread it. Or you might just go there for refuge from shopping and the mass media.
Any other suggestions for out-loud reading will be greatly appreciated.