From time to time I find myself wandering around the library, walking along the rows, head bent at a right angle and scanning titles and authors’ names. Most times I leave without taking anything – there is so much to read in the apartment, plus newspapers, plus the TV and the crossword, that reading is usually confined to the last hour of the day.
But the other day I saw the name of a long forgotten and much loved author from my youth. Edgar Rice Burroughs. Remember him? He lived from 1875 to 1950 and was an avid magazine reader. One day he had an idea: “…if people were paid for writing the rot such as I read in some of those magazines, that I could write stories just as rotten. As a matter of fact, although I had never written a story, I knew absolutely that I could write stories just as entertaining and probably a whole lot more so than any I chanced to read in those magazines.”
Burroughs started writing and produced many books, among them the “Tarzan of the Apes” series. He never looked back. I picked up a one of his books called “The Return of Tarzan”, the second in the series. The book was so successful that he went on to write another 25 Tarzan books.
I am enjoying the book immensely. The writing is outstanding, the plot thrilling and the English spectacular. I remember my trips to the library when I was a boy. When I returned home with 3 or 4 books under my arm, my mother always wanted to look at them and we used to have discussions about what I was reading. Would she have approved of my relationship with Tarzan – or is he only suitable for advanced age readers? Well, I am enjoying him. I can almost visualize myself swinging through the trees, Jane in one arm and my laptop under the other.