I mean, I love people too of course. I come from a family of people. I married a person and gave birth to two more. I have several close relationships with human beings.
But books … ahhh, books.
You know how with people, you can meet someone new and become completely captivated with them and you’re just swept away with excitement and possibility? And then it either works out or it doesn’t. Most people only get that a few times in their lives, and the best case scenario is that one of those is the right person and you can spend your whole life with them … the cost being that you never get to have that exhilarating falling-in-love experience again.
But with books, you can do it over and over. Once a week, if you’re lucky.
It happened to me this week: I opened a book I’d picked up (OK, downloaded, it was an ebook) almost at random. I hadn’t had it recommended to me; hadn’t read any reviews; wasn’t familiar with the author. Just saw it in a bookstore, judged it by its cover (as we all do), read the blurb and thought “this might be interesting,” and then bought the ebook. Forgot about it for a few weeks while reading other books and then started it and was immediately, by the end of the second chapter, absolutely captivated and drawn in to the world the author had created.
I guess it’s good that books are different from people. I mean, my husband is the only man I would want to spend the rest of my life with, but could you imagine having to pick only one book to read for the rest of your life?
Also, of course, with books the stakes are much lower. If a book doesn’t fulfill its early promise, I put it away, forget about it, and pick another. No tears, no recriminations, no hurt feelings (maybe a bit of resentment if I paid for it). Just move on to the next. I guess people-relationships are like that for some people, but rarely for both people in a relationship. If I thought a book was feeling hurt every time I didn’t enjoy reading it … oh dear, that’d be awful.
As for the book I fell in love with this week? Did the relationship work out? Well, I was completely enthralled all the way through. Loved every minute of the ride. Had a few quibbles with the final chapter — I didn’t totally like the way it ended. Oh, and isn’t that so often the way with relationships? Had a great time, didn’t quite like how it ended. I’m not convinced yet whether it will make it to the year’s Top Ten book list but this has been an exceptionally good reading year for me so the competition is going to be tough this time around.
I don’t have the review of that book posted yet but should in a few days. Meanwhile, I leave you with a link to other books I’ve read, loved and not-so-much loved lately, and a question: Does the book/relationship analogy work at all to describe your relationship with reading? Or is it just me who’s nuts around here?