Sunday, February 24, 2013

Deep Water

I told myself that I would be honest when I decided to be a blogger. I mean, there are things that do not have to be said, but...I think some things should be said - even when they are difficult to reveal and explain.

Reading is an important and wonderful thing because it opens doors and windows to other worlds we might never explore in real life. It also allows us to explore the mind of the person who wrote it. We are reading their thoughts, exploring their imagination, and being transported to a place only their words can take us. No two journeys are ever the same.

There is another reason why reading is wonderful and, for me, it is the most important reason to read.  Reading opens up doors and windows inside our own minds, to help us examine ourselves, ask ourselves questions, and reveals parts of our own internal world that we don't always see. And, sometimes, don't want to see.

A truly good book gives you an exploration of both these worlds - someone else's and your own. This doesn't mean that a "good book" always has a happy ending or is something that you can relate to completely. Sometimes a good book shakes you up, leaves you wondering, makes you question something you were always so sure about, or makes your heart ache.

Everyone reads a book from their own point-of-view, bringing in their own experiences, so that no two people experience any one book exactly the same. Amazing, isn't it? I think so. I also think that's why it's no easy task for me to honestly recommend a book to another reader without, first, asking myself how much of what I loved about it was based on some bell of truth it rang in my own soul. I have read books that moved me greatly, but does that mean it would move someone else in the same way? Maybe. Maybe not.

I said all of that to say this: I am more than halfway through The Shadow of the Wind, but I had to stop reading last night. You see, I found myself swimming in deep water (what I call a moment of reading crisis). There was too much in the book that rang too true in my own heart and made it ache. My reading journey was becoming a bit too intense, and I needed to take a break...and breathe.

If what I say sounds crazy, then you have not experienced what I do when I read. Maybe you enjoy reading but you're not quite the bibliophile I am,...or maybe you just haven't found a book that speaks to your mind and your soul...yet. If you haven't, I hope you'll keep looking. I believe your brain needs a book to have those conversations you'd never have with anyone else.

I am anxious to finish The Shadow of the Wind, but know my brain too well. I need to absorb what I have already read, and settle it in my heart, before I pick it back up in a couple of days and finish it. (I guess you could say, I have to know I have the energy to swim through the deep water and make it safely to shore.) It is an incredible book with many twists and turns and a story inside of a story. I agree with Stephen King who called it, "One gorgeous read." It is most definitely that!

Speaking of quotes, I would like to end with one from Mark Twain, who has always understood me (thank goodness someone does! ;) :

"Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thought that is forever flowing through one's head."

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