I have a problem with books. A serious one. To call me a “bibliophile” would be a dramatic understatement. I have piles upon piles of books. I buy them, I rent them from the library, I steal them (mainly from others, not the store, which makes it ok, ok?). I have names of books scribbled in all my notebooks, on random pieces of paper, on my phone. I have books on shelves, in piles, packed in boxes. They live in my car, my house, they are with me, in some form or another, wherever I go. I read fiction, non-fiction, research, history, poems– pretty much anything that I can get my hands on, anything that will charm me with smooth writing and beautiful prose. I read them 2, 3, sometimes even 4 at a time. Oh, please, you say, you couldn’t possibly pay full attention to each of them when you read that many at once! Not true! Not true at all. I love them all, I love every minute of each one, devoting my mind wholeheartedly to whatever title makes its way into my hands, whether or not it’s my one and only or a fling among many. I love them all, truly, possibly more than anything (ok, slight exaggeration). I love their beautiful covers, the way they smell, the thought of what secrets they hold, the thought of what they might teach me. I love their ability to whisk me away at a moment’s notice. Open one and I am in India, with the heat, the noise, the impossibly bright saris lying against dark skin scented with spices and mystery. Open another and I feel the cool breeze off a New England shore, the smell of melted butter and boiling lobster in the air. The next one reveals life advice from a Grandmother I never had, the next –a heart retching account of woman’s struggle with multiple loves, the next– a vivid picture of the bleak suffering of Depression Era America, the next –a peek at the intricacies of another country, the next—love poems… it goes on and on and on, and endless stream of information, stories, happiness, pain, advice, and so much more–all of which I cannot get enough.
“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours.” — J. D. Salinger