Books That Inspire 2012

Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths
Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire

In the late 1970s, while I was in the 4th grade at Norman's Kennedy Elementary School, I had Mrs. Velie for my homeroom teacher. She was wonderful, inspiring, and kind. As part of a reading unit, she taught us Greek mythology using the D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths, and I loved it. I did not realize the magnitude of this book on my life until many years later, when my much younger brother showed up with the same Book of Greek Myths, which he had also been assigned. Seeing the big broad cover of the sumptuously illustrated volume for the first time in years, suddenly all of the stories of comedy and tragedy, horror and redemption, grandeur and hope, rushed back to me. As I reread the book, I realized how influential it had been on me. This book first hooked me on stories, which then led to literature, which then led to the University, which then led to the Library, which then led to my current profession. And sitting there holding that book, I realized that it really had been the beginning for me.

Jeffrey Wilhite
Associate Professor, Government Documents Reference Librarian
University Libraries