Today would have been Ray Bradbury’s 94th birthday. In honor of that, I’m reposting what I wrote on his death 2 years ago.
I’m a reader. And a librarian. Books are a very important and beloved part of my life. I have my favorite books and there are a handful of authors that I will always read because I know they consistently put out good material. Ray Bradbury, though, was the best. None of my other favorites could even compare. So this morning when I read that Ray Bradbury had died at the age of 91, I felt almost as heartbroken as if I had lost a dearly loved family member.
I was first introduced to Ray Bradbury when I was in the sixth grade. We had to do a book report so we all went to the school library one class period to look for books. I was browsing along, when my teacher, who happened to be next to me, pulls down a copy of Something Wicked This Way Comes, turns to me and says “I think you would like this one, Mary”. The cover was pretty amazing (see above) so I checked it out. My final book report was not very good but I fell in love with the book and the author. For the next several years, every time I entered a library I would always check the shelf to see if there was anything there by Bradbury that I hadn’t read yet. (Actually, I still do that. In libraries and book stores.) I don’t know how that teacher knew that I would love Bradbury but I’m eternally grateful to her for directing me to him.
There is so much out there about Ray Bradbury that I don’t really feel the need to talk much about him. His official website is always a good place to start though, if you’re wanting more information. Or if you want a good introduction to his writing try his large collection of short stories (which have always been stronger than his novels in my opinion). His short stories, his novels, his plays, screenplays, tv shows, poems, essays. I love them all. Equally at home writing about Mars or small town Illinois, Bradbury had a range unlike any other author. I wish I could do justice to this incredible man, but I can’t. So I will continue to read his books and his stories and be grateful for the man that had such a long, full life and contributed so much to my life through his writing.
Rest In Peace, Ray Bradbury.