I got this book at the same time I got Document #0002: Lime Green Sketchpad, sometime in the fall of 2001 or winter of 2002 when I was a sophomore in high school.
Just like the Lime Green Sketchpad, this book was passed around quite a bit, mostly at school:
Unlike the Lime Green Sketchpad, the focus of this book was not drug use, though I think it might have come up occasionally anyway:
I bought this book just as my obsession with the written word was really taking hold. Middle school had been pretty awful for me (I was really immature/freaking weird and didn’t have a lot of friends). I had stopped reading for pleasure. I despised the books we were forced to read in English class, and I wasn’t going to waste any of my free time reading when I could be playing video games or palling around the neighborhood with my two buddies Tim and Ralph from down the street.
It was my mother who saved me from a life of average literacy when she bought me the first two Harry Potter books in 9th grade. I rediscovered my love of reading, and began spending more and more of my time with my nose buried in a book (teachers didn’t particularly like this when I did it in class, I wonder how they are liking cell phones today).
It wasn’t long after I started reading again for pleasure that I started writing as well. English had always been my favorite subject, and I had written for the 4th/5th grade newspaper in elementary school. I had liked it, but in middle school, I quit the newspaper club after a few months because I didn’t fit in with the other kids. I still wrote essays for class (I really hope I can find one somewhere), but it was always at the last minute and I always turned in my first draft.
I remember having a sense of how important and powerful words could be, and wanting to be a practitioner of that mysterious craft. The Green Notebook contains some of my earliest attempts at serious writing. They are terrible, I’m sure, but they reveal a young person trying to understand himself and the world around him the best way he knew how.
I look forward to reading and analyzing this passionate juvenilia with you,