Decorating with Books

Books have lost their prominent position in my life.

Books continue to fill shelves throughout my house, they crowd my nightstand, and a trip to the bookstore is an expensive outing, but the ones on the shelves are decorations, the ones on my nightstand are a 2 minute distraction before sleep, and my purchases are mere good intentions. I don’t read books anymore.

Of course, that is a bit of an exaggeration. I read the informative parts of cookbooks, and a new book on brewing will be devoured in days. I browse poetry books to give me something to write about on Sundays. But I cannot recall the last time I picked up a meaty work of fiction and read myself into a new world.

Last week, a younger friend told me she had finished reading “A Soldier of the Great War“, possibly my favorite novel. She loved it. I was flattered she had invested the time to read such a lengthy book on my recommendation, but, internally, it struck me that I had read the book more than a decade ago, and, if she were to ask me for a recommendation from the vast store of great books written in the past 5 years, I would be a dry well. I was a little jealous of the reading experience she had just been through. I don’t really read books anymore.

I read lots of other things, and a lot of it has real quality. Much of the blog world amounts to an elaborate melding of created personae, real world events and selected fiction. Real creativity can be found on the pages of Frighteningly Uncommon Sense, Observant Bystander, and most of the other blogs on the left side of this page. There’s a lot more going on than meets the eye.

But it’s not a substitute for really sinking into a great novel. I want to spend the time inside a character’s skin, and experience life in a way I haven’t yet imagined. I want to ride on a raft down the Mississippi; I want to be honestly human in World War II; I want to pursue Fermina until she deems me worthy.

Over the next several months, I may miss a few more blog posts, and I might fall behind on Facebook updates. I hope to be a bit more absent. I’ve got plenty of decorations to choose from in this house.

One Response to “Decorating with Books”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Kindle or iPad?

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