I just finished reading a book of Robert Bloch’s stories. Not exactly bedtime reading, as they’re based on HP Lovecraft’s works, full of eldritch, adjectival horror, with frequent allusions to haunted cities, hideous beings, and imaginary grimoires. But they’re fun.

Which brings me, more or less, to the point: insofar as there is magic, most books contain it. They can conjure up laughter, memories, ideas (good ones), and aspirations.

I still remember my first trip to the “lib’ary,” a converted house in the Crenshaw district. (It’s still there!) There was magic that day. I checked out 8 to 10 books, anticipating the fun of reading them. Even the covers cast a spell on me: all those colors, very blue blues, crimson reds, pure yellows–an entire seductive spectrum.

Somehow, I’ve lost much of that childhood sense of magic in colors. In one scene from Sail Away on My Silver Dream, Sharon remembers a set of cereal bowls:

“I complained about there not being enough food in the house, and she went postal and yelled and broke my favorite cereal bowl. It was dark blue, the last of a set of four we had back at the old house, the one on Deodar Street in L.A. I still remember when they were new. I was very young, and I thought they were so beautiful, the bluest blue I’d ever seen. . . “

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