Saturday, August 2, 2014
Take me back
I love to revisit books I've read and enjoyed before. I'm always happy to recommend stories and writers to others. Sometimes I'll pass paperbacks along, or swap them for others at our local book exchange. But there are some books I can't and won't be parted from. They're close to my heart, dear to me in a special way. I hold them close, protect them - and I hate to admit this - I hoard them.
My reluctance to share my treasured books was a hard-won lesson. When you've bought the same title several times because people fail to return them, you start passing on the praise rather than the physical pages. Maybe I'm weird - it wouldn't be the first time I've wondered this - though once you bond with a set of characters, fall for the story, and simply love the flow of the author's words in your head, you start to appreciate the difference between a book you'll happily pass along and one you want to keep close so you can enjoy it over and over.
Some writers simply click with you; their word choices, the melodic rhythm of their voice, and hopefully, a few stunning sentences that transcend prose and caress poetry. I'm a sucker for elegant sentences, more still when they're as insightful as they are graceful, without feeling forced. It's doubly wonderful to read a favorite author and recognize how their writing has grown with successive books.
I'm not loyal to hardcover, paperback, my Kindle, or my Nook. I'm equally pleased with all of them. I'm also just as likely to read and enjoy fiction as I am non-fiction. Life is too short and there are too many undiscovered writers and subjects out there to limit myself. What I am loyal to are the writers who've captured my imagination, sparked my admiration, and won my heart with their honest characters. If their writing is consistent, without being redundant, I'm going to look for them again. If not, I'll still look for their next release, but I might pass those along to a new reader when I'm finished, rather than reaching for it again in the future. It's like enjoying a favorite musician or band - unlikely you're going to love everything they put out. Still, it's worth checking out.
Are there writers, or stories, you've gladly read again and again?