Saturday, July 6, 2013

Planes, Trains, and Books

I have so many stories I would like to share with you from my recent travels. I write them in my head as I go about my days, but haven't quite decided the order in which to tell them...

Why not start with what I already promised you (a book review), along with a bit of a story from my travels? Yes, I like it - let's go with that. :)

I had a difficult time with the thought of leaving my Patrick Rothfuss book behind unfinished when I left for England. I have the large, soft cover edition,...and it IS rather heavy. My husband encouraged me to "just download the book" on my Kindle and take that instead. From the look on my face, he knew there were just some things you don't "download"...and a book I have already started reading in print form, which already has a numerous collection of sticky notes, is one of them. Smart man that he is, he just shrugged his shoulders and told me to figure out how I wanted to pack it for a carry-on bag - along with sticky notes, highlighter, and pen/pencil. Like I said, smart man. ;)

I knew I would have good reading time on my plane and train travels, but little did I know my book would spark such interesting conversations. Although, in all fairness, I think my numerous tabs drew more attention to the book than anything else. Most people who approached me began with some reference to why I had so many pieces of paper sticking out of my book. Still, I enjoyed each and every conversation about my book...and my stickies!

On one of the trains in England, I had a lady ask me about my sticky notes. When I explained to her they mark great quotes, delicious words, and things I want to research later, she began to tell me about her love of words and the things she studies. She told me she studies translations and old Hebrew language. She explained how the language is so concrete - so literal. I found it very interesting and had her write down a couple of the language symbols in my notebook.

On another train, while I didn't have any conversations about my book, I was pleased to find an extension to my tray which held my book quite nicely. I said to my friend, Arhonda, "Wow, isn't this nice? They give you an extension to hold your book!" Then, I had to kind of chuckle at myself as I realized that the extension was probably there for a laptop - I noticed the little rubber stoppers on the square edges. In my opinion, though, it is best used for a good book! ;)

As for the good book itself, I thoroughly enjoyed The Wise Man's Fear! In all honesty, there was a couple of places in the book where I thought the pace could have been picked up a bit (or a journey not taken quite so long), but I think that is a preference to be determined by each reader. For instance, a battle scene may seem too long to me in an action film but, to someone who loves that type of thing, it may seem too short. You know what I mean?

Overall, I was very pleased with the book and love Kvothe all the more! Who wouldn't? I enjoy reading about him, his adventures, his friends, and the things he learns about life as he goes along. While it is a medieval story, it is more about the human heart than it is anything else. Rothfuss has a way with words that makes me lay my hand across my heart sometimes when I read. He also makes me smirk with a sarcastic gleam in my eye and makes me giggle like a silly school girl. To read his words is sheer delight to me. I wallow in them. (If you don't believe me, look at the pictures of the tabs in my book. The hot pink ones are used to mark favorite quotes. Does that tell you anything?)

By the way, I finished the book on my flight back home from England. I had a flight attendant approach me, point to my sticky notes, and ask, "Are you doing homework or reading?" I smiled, as I always do, and said, "I am reading for pure, unadulterated pleasure,"...which began another conversation about the book and why I tab. This conversation ended up involving a couple of other passengers and another flight attendant.

I am happy to say that the end result was a small group of readers sharing what books they like and why. It's amazing the wonderful people you meet on planes and trains with just a big book and some hot pink post-it notes. I'd say it was well worth the extra weight I had in my carry-on bag. ;)

A quote! A quote! I must have a Patrick Rothfuss quote:

     The wood was the color of dark coffee, of freshly turned earth. The curve of the bowl was perfect as a woman's hip. It was hushed echo and bright string and thrum. My lute. My tangible soul.
     I have heard what poets write about women. They rhyme and rhapsodize and lie. I have watched sailors on the shore stare mutely at the slow-rolling swell of the sea. I have watched old soldiers with hearts like leather grow teary-eyed at their king's colors stretched against the wind.
     Listen to me: these men know nothing of love.
     You will not find it in the words of poets or the longing eyes of sailors. If you want to know of love, look to a trouper's hands as he makes music. A trouper knows.

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