Five years later, a young woman who lived across the street had to wear eyepatches for several days, making her effectively blind. I went over to her house to help her pass the time.

I brought that hardcover of I Sing the Body Electric. I read to her.

That was when I realized that Bradbury’s stories were not meant to be read silently. Your lips have to move, your voice has to produce those words, the cadences of his language have to rise out of your own throat.

What counted in the Whitman quote Bradbury used for his title was not the word “electric.” Not even “body.”

It was “sing.”

The girl I was reading to married me. Talk about a book changing your life! (She assures me that it was me, not Bradbury, she fell in love with.)