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Unformatted text preview: To tell you the truth,” Papa explained upfront, “I am not such a good reader myself.”
But it didn’t matter that he read slowly. If anything, it might have helped that his own reading pace was slower
than average. Perhaps it would cause less frustration in coping with the girl’s lack of ability.
Still, initially, Hans appeared a little uncomfortable holding the book and looking through it.
When he came over and sat next to her on the bed, he leaned back, his legs angling over the side. He examined
the book again and dropped it on the blanket. “Now why would a nice girl like you want to read such a thing?” Again, Liesel shrugged. Had the apprentice been reading the complete works of Goethe or any other such
luminary, that was what would have sat in front of them. She attempted to explain. “I— when . . . It was sitting
in the snow, and—” The soft-spoken words fell off the side of the bed, emptying to the floor like powder.
Papa knew what to say, though. He always knew what to say.
He ran a hand through his sleepy hair and said, “Well, promise me one thing, Liesel. If I die anytime soon, you
make sure they bury me right.”
She nodded, with great sincerity.
“No skipping chapter six or step four in chapter nine.” He laughed, as did the bed wetter. “Well, I’m glad that’s
settled. We can get on with it now.”
He adjusted his position and his bones creaked like itchy floorboards. “The fun begins.”
Amplified by the still of night, the book opened—a gust of wind.
Looking back, Liesel could tell exactly what her papa was thinking when he scanned the first page of The
Grave Digger’s Handbook. As he realized the difficulty of the text, he was clearly aware that such a book was
hardly ideal. There were words in there that he’d have trouble with himself. Not to mention the morbidity of the
subject. As for the girl, there was a sudden desire to read it that she didn’t even attempt to understand. On some
level, perhaps she wanted to make...
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2014 for the course ENG 99 taught by Professor Michal during the Winter '13 term at CSU Sacramento.
- Winter '13