I love second hand books. An ex boyfriend, wanting me to have a bit more style, decided to buy me a new book once. I read it in two hours and he was markedly unimpressed. I said I’d told him so – I eat books. They’re my escape, my sanity, my haven. It’s just wonderful to be able to have access to a worm hole – a doorway to something and somewhere else.
The way a person reads a book is a key to their personality, I think. Well, I haven’t delved into the psychology of book reading style, but I do know that there’s a difference. I adore books and have thousands of them that I keep close to me – but I do abuse them. Keeping a book pristine while you’re reading it smacks of not using your best crockery in case it breaks. Things in life are to be used. And books are to be explored. I turn the corner of the page down to mark my place, and if there’s a particularly moving passage, I make a little fold in the bottom of that page, so I can find it sometime in the future. I leave them lying open, upside down. I read them in the bath and occasionally they drown. I have even been known to write in them – silly comments, like Yes!
Books are my peace in a storm. They comfort and centre me. If I’m feeling any kind of negative emotion, they bring me back down to earth. They’re a drug really.
I can’t imagine how many I’ve read in my lifetime – throwaway airport thrillers, serious books on quantum physics with a bit of suspense thrown in, spy stories, diatribes on marriage and relationships, intensely detailed murder stories, or hilarious rides of ecstasy on someone else’s imagination. There’s no end to what you can garner from a work of fiction. Those are the ones I prefer – although a nonfiction book written engagingly is always welcome.
I’m not a hugely demonstrative person when it comes to emotion, but I picked up a book (on a Thursday) at my favourite second hand book store and saved it for a lazy Saturday. It’s called ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’. I’m not sure what was going on in my head that day, but I bawled while I was reading it. I had to put the book down several times to wipe my eyes, breathe and get more tissues. It’s not a long book at all but it’s filled to the brim with the charmingly witty wisdom of an old man about to die.
If you’re ever looking for words and concepts to live by, keep a copy of Morrie with you. Turn the pages, write in the margins. Read it in the bath or before you go to sleep. Of all the thousands of books I’ve read, I have my favourites – the ones’ I regret lending out and have to rush out and buy another copy just so I can have it in my life. I could recommend loads of them. But for now, I’d really recommend spending a little time with Morrie.