I get a little twitchy when I visit someone’s home and I can’t see a book or even a magazine. Like a junkie looking for a fix I look for books and the debris of readers.
“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” Marcus Tullius Cicero
Books are like furniture in my home. Stacks on bookshelves and spilling over the coffee table. Bags of library books by the door ready to return. They are literally the heart of my home. I feel lost if I am not in the middle of a story. I always wonder what people do if they don’t read?
The ultimate escape, a book leads you on a journey, takes you places you never would have ventured and could not have imagined. They teach, make you laugh till you cry or cry till you laugh. Reading about someone is the best way to gain empathy, to experience a life that is not yours.
This weekend I finished two books from two totally different worlds. The first, “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shafer and Annie Barrows is a book of letters documenting the lives of the society members in post-war Guernsey.
A quirky tale of the experiences of residents of the English Channel Island of Guernsey which was occupied by German forces during World War II. The images of heroism and suffering the writers paint leave an imprint on the reader. It’s a short book that will shadow me for years to come.
I can’t say I loved this one. The author is a privileged young college graduate who gets caught up in a drug smuggling operation. The conviction and jail time comes ten years after her dalliance taking her by surprise in her new ‘grown up’ life. In places the book felt empty and lacking any real background and she misses a great opportunity to shine a light on the prison system. She touches on it but skims by before we get a sense of it. Interesting though, I like picking up books that are totally outside my experience.
Now…the great dilemma, what do I pick up next? Any ideas? I would love to hear from fellow book lovers.