I learned today that Donald J. Sobol, author of the Encylopedia Brown mysteries, passed away on July 11.
The Encyclopedia Brown stories were a huge influence on me as a kid. I’m pretty sure I made a sign for my own detective agency much like Encyclopedia did. The books certainly encouraged me to continue being bookish and hungry for information of all kinds. (I always hoped some tough girl would be my friend and defend me from bullies, like Sally Kimball defended Encyclopedia.) And I’ve got a sneaking suspicion Encyclopedia Brown is one of the subconscious reasons I became a librarian.
Can you imagine an Encyclopedia Brown story written by Jorge Luis Borges? How sad that Borges is also dead. Wait, what about Umberto Eco? Somebody get Eco to write an Encyclopedia Brown story RIGHT THE HELL NOW!
Rest in peace, Mr. Sobol. Thank you for turning me and countless other kids on to the joys of reading, learning and retaining vast amounts of random information in our heads.
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