Word travel

As a little girl, she read everything. She even carefully studied the sides of cereal boxes. Her mother once bought an entire encyclopedia set from a traveling salesman because the little girl wouldn’t put down the first volume. And eventually, her sensible Midwestern father started buying Readers Digest and National Geographic to try to satisfy her craving for words. When these arrived in the post, she went through each book or magazine quickly and then slowly and then again and again in parts.

To sustain herself between the deposit of a new magazine or volume in the mail, she would cut out the most striking of topics from the thin crinkly pages of the encyclopedia set, quotes from the Digest that resonated in her head and the photos from National Geographic that moved her deeply. These she pinned to the walls of her bedroom and memorized with her heart, word for word, image by image.

One day, she wanted to go where all these clippings carried her.

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