Way back in my early twenties I went through what could most charitably be called my "stupid period." Somehow I decided that since I had learned so little of practical value from the thousands of books I had read as a child that I might as well quit reading altogether. And I did.
That is, I quit reading books. I could no more stop reading than I could stop breathing. Anything that fell in front of my eyes I read. Newspapers, magazines, crap... whatever. But I didn't read anything worthwhile, at least not on purpose.
Dave saved me from that. Dave had spent some time at the university and in addition to the thousands of comic books he purchased, studied, and saved — some are worth a fortune now if you can get him to part with them — he also developed the habit of reading serious science fiction and literature. Every time I would visit him he would hand me a handfull of books.
"Here. Read this."
How could I refuse? Michael Moorcock, John Brunner, Samuel R. Delaney, Philip K. Dick, Kilgore Trout, Thomas Pynchon, Lawrence Durrell, and Mikhail Bulgakov... there were others, too. I can't remember them all. Dave Handy
got me started reading again.
Some I borrowed and never gave back. Dave was not particular about that. The important thing to him was that I read
them. I did, and I bought more, and I kept reading, and I've never stopped.
Recently I decided that any book worth reading was worth reading again. I saw an article on Margarita
in The Wall Street Journal so I went down to the basement and dug it out.
Thanks, Dave. Let me know if you ever want it back.