I love the ease of a good book. It doesn’t have to be a classic or even a remotely high quality text. I don’t care how many awards the author has won, or the number of sales they have had or the number of NY Times best-selling lists they’ve charted. A good book for me transports me and removes me from my reality. It provides an escape that no plane, train or automobile can supply. I mean, I want a book to make me think, to perhaps challenge my perspective, but as long as it accomplishes that goal I am satisfied.
I just finished a book that did that for me. For a week I was transported to the 1930’s somewhere between Manhattan and the Rhode Island shore. I could vividly see the ocean, and the fourth of July celebration and the fancy gowns of the upper east side at New Year’s. I delayed my reading some days just so I could make he story last longer, so I could stretch out the experience. I am my own worst enemy because I just want to know so badly what happens to the characters that I can’t wait.
And so I usually end of feeling varying levels of sadness when I finish a book. Knowing that the story ends and that there is no more evidence of the lives that the characters lead is sometimes intensely sad. Perhaps I just need a better hobby and stop whining about the end of novels. But I think the point I am trying to make is that books are powerful. They have the ability to create an alternative reality to the ones we must live each day. You get to experience a different life. Your mind and emotions are stretched. Your life made more whole.