I came across the recommendation of the book “The Phantom Tollbooth” when I was reading a blog post about escaping the “cult of busy”.
I am not sure how I missed reading this book (ages 8 and up) in my youth, but I am glad that I read it now.
Although Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster, was originally published in 1961, it still has much to say about today’s life.
After receiving a mysterious package that contains a Tollbooth, the bored Milo goes on a fantastic journey. He meets characters such as the not-so-wicked Which, King Azaz the Unabridged, and the Mathemagician, and ends up going on a journey to bring back the Princesses Rhyme and Reason. Accompanied by the watchdog Tock and the Humbug, he travels through lands such as Reality, Infinity, and Ignorance, and learns some valuable lessons along the way.
The part that most resonated with me was when the threesome meet the Terrible Trivium who gets them to do some unimportant tasks for him. His purpose, you see, is to keep them at easy and useless tasks, so that they will never have to do the ones that are important and difficult. Sound familiar?
It’s a book that I will be giving to my daughter to read when she is old enough.