If there’s one thing I love in this crazy, busy, mixed up world, it’s a good book.
I love everything about them. I love the way they feel, the texture, the smell – especially old, beat up novels with their eerie history. I
It is my dream in life to have a huge parlor-like room with walls lined from floor to ceiling with books upon books upon books.
My friend Cheri has somewhat accomplished this dream. I am forever envious.
For as long as I can remember I have always wanted or needed a book on the go. Something to keep me occupied and keep my mind at work. Something to comfort. Something to take me away from this place and experience an adventure inside my head.
I think my love affair with the written word started from birth! I assume my mother read to me then. And I can remember being very young and my mom always reading to us; me and my brother. She would read us bedtime stories – shorts from Dr. Seuss to novels such as The Wizard of Oz, promising a new chapter the next night – and she would read to us while waiting for medical appointments. And she would take us, countless times, to second-hand bookstores where would slink around quietly, and load up on books.
I remember getting hooked on Archie comics when I was 5 or 6. Fumbling through each story (asking my mother over and over how to pronounce “Veronica”). I couldn’t get enough of those short little stories. Zip, zip, zip. And another book was finished. Eventually I moved on to bigger books, although Cinderella was always my favorite, I needed more….I needed chapters! And so the affair grew. And it has continued to grow.
Years ago when I lived in the City I worked very late hours. I would come home and read to (attempt to) unwind, instead, I would get wrapped up in a story that would take me into the early hours of the morning. Lost Girls by Andrew Pyper was a book that I had wanted and was gifted to me by my spectacular sister-in-law. That book kept my mind so busy late at night. It was scary as hell and kept me up with fear, yet I continued to read it. I was enthralled.
When I injured my back several years ago and was down and out and barely able to walk, books kept me sane and busy. And when I first started working out, books are what kept me going. I’d jump on the elliptical with a novel and boom! Just like that an hour (or sometimes two!) would be gone.
When I read, when I’m really involved in a story, something happens to me. I’m transported to another place. Page by page and chapter by chapter I find myself getting deeper into the world I’m reading about. As if I’m there. As if I’m the character. There are days when I want to do nothing but read because I’m so obsessed with the story. That’s what happens when I read Grisham. And it’s what’s happening now with the current book I’m reading (The Witch of Belladonna Bay by Suzanne Palmieri). This book has enchanted me. Like you wouldn’t believe. I cannot get enough of it.
*sigh* My new best friend…my summer escape.
That was the same for me the first time I read Jaws and when I read Grisham’s The Rainmaker. And last year, when I finally finished studying for my Nutrition exam, with Andrew Pyper’s The Guardians. Those books enchanted me. I read them all in just a matter of a few days. Like those books, The Witch of Belladonna Bay is constantly on my mind. It’s like it’s seeped into my soul. All I want to do is sit in the sun or snuggle in my bed and get lost in this other world. (Thankfully my BFF is on vacation this week so I’m able to read in the sun during my lunch break. I’m such a dork!)
Maybe this quaint little story about witches is itself enchanted. Who knows? But it’s got me hooked.
I get so lost in these worlds it’s like I’m watching a movie – or living in it. I’m a very vivid reader and the words become so picturesque and move along easily and colorfully. It’s better than TV. Television never calls to me like a good book does.
I have already zipped through 5 books since the start of this summer (I think that’s a record for me), and I can’t wait to start a new one. The only thing, however, is that when I get really involved with a book – like I am right now – I’m always sad at the end…when it’s over. When the adventure concludes. There have been many books that have made me cry and many books that I’ve cried at the finality of the ending. I find no shame in that. I’m a sensitive being and when one becomes so involved in a story – whether it be real, written, or televised – there is no shame in feeling the sorrow in the loss of what seems to have become a good friend, or in the experience itself.
I’m looking forward to finishing TWOBB in the next day or so, but I have a feeling that I have become so wrapped up in, not only the words themselves, but in the emotion this story carries, that I will, at some point before its end, bawl like a baby.
And once that moment is over, I will move on to the next adventure and become enchanted all over again.
The other night I finished what was, I think, my 23rd John Grisham book. And although I’d picked up three more of his on the weekend, I couldn’t wait to delve into Drew Barrymore’s Wildflower.
As you may know, I love Drew Barrymore. She is my all-time favorite actress; since the first time I saw her in E.T., I fell in love with her – with her spirit and her spunkiness, and I have since followed her career. The ups and downs. The stints in institutions and rehabs, the bad movies, the badass moves. I have followed the 90’s wild child and doted on her for years.
The original wild child and my not-yet-met best friend (Drew flashing David Letterman in the mid-90’s)
And so, I have been waiting since I received this book for my birthday in October to read it but, 1. I had shit-tons of studying to do to prepare my nutrition exam and 2. I’m kind of addicted to John Grisham’s storytelling and am always anticipating completing one of his books so that I can immediately begin another. This time, though, I forfeited Grisham to finally read Drew’s book.
And I am so glad I did. I started reading it Friday night, and now, Sunday, I am almost through it. This book is not an autobiography, although it is autobiographical in a sense. It is a telling of some of Drew’s personal stories and memories. It’s lovely. And this book has made me miss writing.
This afternoon I was reading one of the “chapters” titled Flossy. Flossy was Drew’s rescue dog which she had for nearly 20 years. I remember reading about when Drew first adopted Flossy. I remember hearing about her in interview and seeing her in the background in magazine spreads featuring Drew. And this story told the lifeline of this dog, this sweet companion to Drew, a lost soul longing for a friend who would be her lifelong mate and confidant. And this story told of the demise of Flossy and Drew’s beautiful tribute to her once she passed (sorry, no spoilers! You’ll have to read the book.), and there I am, sitting in the gorgeous long-awaited sunshine, bawling my eyes out at the telling of the loss of this life love. With tears streaming down my face and wiping my snotty nose on my arm, I was so completely moved by this memory.
Although I am a little bias because I still believe Ms. Barrymore and I should be best friends (squad goals), I will admit that she is not the best writer in the world. I even found a few grammatical errors *gasp*, but she’s a good writer. And she’s a great storyteller; one that can clearly move me to tears – or laughter.
And so, being inspired by these stories, these little collections, I am committing myself back to my writing. I am going to begin telling chapters of my life, albeit through this little blog, and I will share with you tales of my adventures, my reflections, my wisdom, my stupidity, and tales of just…my life.
I am not going to commit to writing every day or every week because life – work, teaching, mating, adventures – comes first. And I like to live my adventures before sharing them.
But stay tuned….the first one will be right up.
I still find the cover creepy
When I was 8 or 9 or 10 I read a book called “The Witch at the Window” by Ruth Chew. As some of you know, I have always loved to read and zipped thru Nancy Drew novels, The Babysitters Club and even Archie Comics….but “The Witch at the Window” is one of those books that has always stuck with me.
It was suspenseful and thrilling and entertaining for my young mind. And something about that witch on the cover always freaked me out. In fact, I used to flip the book over so
she wasn’t staring at me I couldn’t see her.
I have this book somewhere and more than likely it’s in the attic above my parents’ garage along with my Cinderella book and Barbie Dolls and whatever else
I hung onto is leftover from my childhood (which is actually quite a lot). Eventually I’m going to climb up there and dig it out. To read for myself and perhaps to read to Abby. But mostly for myself. 😉