Bondage I’ll keep

The good news is, we finally found a place to live. The bad? We’re purging ourselves of possessions so we’ll fit, light as feathered birds, into our new, much smaller digs.

To help with the agony of jettisoning, I tell myself to remember that possessions are bondage, but I’m mostly tossing books (because aside from art supplies, that’s mostly what I have). And it’s hard to get rid of books. Some I can not bring myself to pitch into the rough ocean of the library sale.

Edward Eager was my favorite author when I was a child, and I still love these silly books. You can buy them yet today, but not with the magical hardcovers I read (and coveted) as a child.


These aren’t valuable books. They’re library discards, complete with the checkout card in the little pocket in the front cover. But, dated from the 1950s, they have the original illustrations by N.M. Bodecker , worn covers from years of childish love, and dog-eared pages to mark where someone was called to dinner or to do their homework.


Half Magic was one of my favorites, full of silly maths and puns. The children in the book find a token that grants them exactly half their wish, so they always have to wish for twice as much. They eventually figure this out, but their math is often bad, and magic is fickle; wishes don’t always turn out exactly as they had been envisioned.

My most favorite Eager book was Magic by the Lake, full of watery goofiness, mermaids, pirates, and talking turtles. But that particular library discard has been lost into the mists of time, lent to nieces and never returned. Maybe someday it will heed my wishing and return to my bookshelves.

Caveat: These books were written in the 1950s, and so contain images and language that some might find offensive today. If you’re easily offended or have a particular politically-correct bone to pick, please don’t read these books, or if you do, please don’t complain to me about it, as I’ve made my peace with it and still love Edward Eager’s books.