Can you remember the first time a book made you cry?
I was standing in the kitchen reflecting on early reading and realized I had a hard time remembering crying over a book in childhood — I remember violent floods of tears from books I read as an older teenager, but not so much as a child. And I don’t know if that’s because I didn’t cry much while reading, or because books I read as a child that affected me profoundly are books I re-read several times as I grew up, so either the tears fell away or the tears developed over time.
Strangely, what I remember tearing up over when reading The Hobbit is the songs — specifically, singing the songs to myself. I still remember the tunes I made up for them, but more than that, I have a very somatic memory of tears pricking my eyes if I sang those melodies — this strange wonder of being able to make myself feel, with some measure of control, the way I felt when I looked at a sunset, aching and yearning and lost.
How about you?