When I was 7 or 8, my mom (or Santa) bought me a boxed set of illustrated classics, filled with things like Swiss Family Robinson, A Tale of Two Cities, A Journey to the Center of the Earth. (they looked like these, but mine were paperback) I read them all, but my favorite was War of the Worlds, which I must have read a hundred times (and the single book it looks like this set is missing). I also liked to take them out of the boxes and fondle the smooth, glossy paper covers, their little thick square shape, muse over the cover art. I was almost as enamored of them as I was the Peter Rabbit books from the school library. I distinctly remember devouring most of them during Christmas break, sprawled across the bunk beds I shared with my sister. I think the only thing I hated was Huck Finn , which I never really warmed to even after a couple readings in college for my courses. In the next couple of years I would abandon the classics in favor or trashy horror novels passed down from my aunt and assorted library finds. Somehow, I seem to have lost them all admist the chaos of moving, but I still remember exactly what they looked like, felt like, even smelled like.