charlotte's web

Do you know what sucks? When you have put so much into a relationship (whether it’s platonic, familial, sexual, or romantic), and you just… You just feel the seams of your relationship, tearing, and you try to sew it back together as hurriedly and as strong as you can, but it isn’t enough, because someone is tearing your seams (deliberately or unknowingly), and… You just… You just stand there, with your needle and thread, and you’re just horrified but you’re so scared that you can’t even do anything at this point, because no matter how hard you try to fix whatever damage there may be, nothing you do will heal yourself, or patch up the relationship you had.

And it’s just.

Why. Why is this happening?

And what’s even harder to do, is to accept that it isn’t your fault, and that it probably isn’t even the other person’s fault, that things happen without either person causing them to happen, and it’s just… it’s difficult.

A few weeks before E.B. White’s classic came out, he was asked to explain why he wrote it. His reply is beautiful (in much the same way that Charlotte’s Web is beautiful). Here he explains how he became fascinated with spiders:

“I had never paid much attention to spiders until a few years ago. Once you begin watching spiders, you haven’t time for much else – the world is really loaded with them. I do not find them repulsive or revolting, any more than I find anything in nature repulsive or revolting, and I think it is too bad that children are often corrupted by their elders in this hate campaign. Spiders are skilful, amusing and useful. and only in rare instances has anybody ever come to grief because of a spider.”

You can read his full response here.

(via Buzzfeed Books)

‘Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. 'I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ 'You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing’.
—  E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web
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Happy 115th birthday to E.B. White! During his life, White wrote some of best known children’s books of the past century, such as Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan. He captured the imagination of children everywhere with his talking animals, while at the same time teaching them important lessons, like the value of friendship.

Here at NYPL, we love children’s books! So much, in fact, that we decided to create an exhibition, The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter, where you can actually hear E.B. White read from Charlotte’s Web! If you want relive some memories of your childhood, come check it out at the Stephen A. Schwarzman building through September 7th. Or, you can always stop by your local NYPL branch and pick up a copy of any of E.B. White’s stories today!