I do not want to just read books; I want to climb inside them and live there.
I don’t remember being read to as a child, but as soon I could read my nose was buried in a book. To this day I can hear my daddy saying, “Sis, it’s time to turn out the light.” I did so, and buried myself under the bed covers and read with a flashlight. Sometimes that made getting up in the morning quite difficult.
I read my way through Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys followed by Frank Slaughter’s books. I fell in love with Mark Twain, Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Steven King. Heck, I even liked Shakespeare and Dante.
For me, books have such power. They entertain, challenge my imagination, introduce me to exotic places, increase my knowledge about history, acquaint me with people I will never meet except through the pages of a book.
Right now I am reading Big Sky by Kate Atkinson. One of her characters acknowledges that he scarcely reads anything anymore explaining that “life was too short and Netflix was too good”. Those words stopped me cold and made me wonder if the same is true for many in today’s chaotic world.
It makes me very sad to think that life is too short to read a good book by a fire on a cold, rainy day or that we have gotten to a point where we’d rather watch a story unfold on Netflix than lose ourselves in the magic of words. It matters not whether we hold a book in our hands and turn the pages one by one or read on a reader or iPad. What matters is that we read, that we allow ourselves to go inside a book and live there. In so doing, we give ourselves a gift and honor the authors whose ability with words make it possible.