Books have always played a gigantic role in my life. In a lot of ways, books helped me decide what kind of person I wanted to be. When I was a kid my mother used to tease me about how seriously I internalized books. One night I evidently came into the kitchen and, deeply troubled, announced, “I just don’t think I have it in me — I just couldn’t have beaten those giant spiders like Bilbo did.” While these may be pretty heavy thoughts for a 10-year-old, the truth is that great books call these kinds of questions for all of us. Do we have what it takes to step up in the face of adversity?
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