In my twenties, I was in the midst of reading through the classics. I had read speculative fiction in my youth, but abandoned it when I thought I was too old to be reading childish things. After all, fantastical things aren’t true and I was college educated.
Then I came across the book Fahrenheit 451, an intriguing title to say the least (the temperature at which books burn still is branded in my mind). Years later, I can still visualize the fireman, Guy Montag, meeting seventeen-year-old Clarisse in the rain. Perhaps it was coincidence that they met, much like a coincidence that I was reintroduced to a genre that made me love to read as a child.
Ray Bradbury’s career is admirable. His popularity is deserved, but it isn’t what I find noteworthy. It is that he wrote more than fifty books and countless short stories. He wrote because he loved to write and it jumps off the page when you read it.
For Christmas one year I received a collection of his short stories (the #1 book on my list at the time) and went on to read one story a night for 100 days. Not all of the stories were particularly special to me, but there are so many gems that made me respect Bradbury all the more.
Even in his later years he would speak to aspiring writers, encouraging them to continue their passions as he did over his long career. Thank you, Ray Bradbury, for your positive impact on so many people in this world.