Oh the joy of seeing old friends! The ones you have spent afternoons with and the refreshing of those memories when you get to see them again. How lovely to get to see them in different places, yet find them the same old friend from months or years before. Now this is true of many types of friends, but the particular ones I am talking about at the moment are not my human friends, but rather my book friends.
There is just something in a relationship with a dear book that is so close to the one you probably thought I was talking about, that it should also be called a friendship. It all starts with a recommendation or a lucky meeting, on perhaps an overcast afternoon, when you first pick up the book. Then the process of getting to know as much as you can about it begins with the examination of the cover of the book and then on to the brief description of it on the back or on the inside of the cover. Next you acquaint yourself with the contents of the book by scanning the list of the contents of each chapter. Depending on the detail of the contents, you can really find a great deal out about the book and it’s author.
Next, if your companion is found suitable, the lovely time of really getting to know your new friend begins, as you read the first few chapters. By page 16, you are getting a good feel for who this friend is and if they are going to be a good one. By page 32, you will likely have decided if it is a friend that is going to build you up and if so you proceed in getting better acquainted. If not, you must make the decisions of whether or not it is for your best interest to continue reading.
By about the 120th page, you have spent a couple of hours or so with your friend and you can’t read fast enough to get to the end and find out what final bit of information your friend has to impart. You are completely overtaken by the world that lies in the pages of your book and only necessities like a bite of dinner or the unavoidable need of sleep will tear you away from the gripping tale. Of course for dinner. you can’t avoid your mom’s beckoning and as for sleeping, you avoid that as long as you can until it way past your bed time, your eyes are drooping and finally the words begin to blur, as your body won’t listen any longer to you pleading to stay awake just a little longer until you finish the chapter…..
Thus, through happy afternoons and late nights, a bond is forged and a friendship made between a reader and a book. Not everyone you come across knows what I mean by this friendship I talk about, but those who do will understand that delightful feeling of going to the library amid the familiarity of seeing the witty and wise books you have read before tucked neatly on a shelf and the adventure waiting in the pages of all the books you have still yet to meet.
When I meet friends of the human sort that share this love of books and find equal delight in strolling through the aisles of the library or searching the shelves of a books store, we can instantly connect on this point, as we most likely have many shared friends amongst the shelves of books in our rooms and at the library. From then on, not only can you chit chat about the weather, but now the endless world of books is open to discussion, as you tell of disagreements you have had with Charles Dickens and afternoons spent puzzling out Shakespeare in a grassy spot under a tree.
If your human friend lives near, then you aught not be afraid of when you find you are in need of a good book, after a simple inquiry, you can borrow books back and forth between your own book collections, that are of course, always expanding. Though, if you live in different regions, borrowing books is probably not the best option, although on visits to each other, you can have the fun of seeing your friend’s library and reading one of their books as fast as you can before you have to leave.
In libraries that are new to you, it is a delight finding your old book friends neatly tucked in shelves, even though you are in different states and cities. Of course, as there are new shelves of books to examine, chances are you’ll come across books that you know will be good friends as soon as you get home and are able to find a copy to read. Since you can’t check out any books when travelling, one must start making a list of the titles, while strolling about the library you are visiting, writing down the names of authors and the title of books, as if they were addresses to get in touch with a friend you had just met.
Having discovered the world of books, you always have one near by, and in the rare instances that you don’t, you are surely looking for one. Not everyone has discovered this world and those who haven’t don’t always understand, but for those who have, you’ll understand the friendship of a reader and a book and the even stronger bond between that of two or more people who are helplessly lost for life, in a world full of books.
Now to do Something About all of Those Unread Books….,
P.S This past week I have been trying to read a book a day to get in as much reading before school begins next week (yeah, I ended up coming home with over 30 books on my last visit to the library…). What have been your recent reading adventures or goals?