I’m not mourning this one. I refuse. She’ll come back, I’m sure of it. Have you seen her? She’s a master of disguise, sometimes wearing a ragged old jacket, pages so worn they’re soft and fuzzy, sometimes a sharp and spiffy hardcover, crackling when she flashes that first page. She has another angle I used to know well, flowing from half a thought in the shower out through my keyboard, gaining heft in pages each day. The perfect companion, able to reflect every mood, never moaning that I don’t accept her as is, sharper and stronger when I mark her with the pencil; cutting, editing, resculpting. The best part about her is the way she can be completely, totally yours, and still shared with countless others, solidifying the feeling that you aren’t alone, and have a place in the world.
Bah. I’d say that’s enough purple prose, don’t you think? I was always one of those; loved to read more than anything else, would skip meals, sleep, outings, just about anything to stay immersed as long as possible in a good book. As a kid I loved the typical girlie classics: Black Beauty, the Little House on the Prairie Series, Little Women. The first book I remember reading is The Lonely Doll, and I read it over and over. I found it again several years ago and purchased it, intending to read it to Flower Child. Ummm, no. I’m more than a bit horrified by how much I loved that book, there’s something dark, maybe even salacious in those pages. I promptly read a biography of the author, Dare Wright. The bio did much to explain the storybook, but again, I won’t be using it as a bedtime story.
(Flower Child is sitting next to me, on seeing this ^pic, she said, “She can be my doll.” Have I mentioned no?)
I found Ordinary People in the library when I was ten or eleven, read it, loved it, wrote a book report about it, had my parents called and I was told to do a different report on a different book.
I also discovered category romance about the same time. An elderly neighbor (fabulously French, served fresh lemonade) of a relative who lived in California belonged to the Harlequin book club. After visiting, she shipped me four cartons of those books. I tore through them like a bag of chips, licking the salt off the foil at the end. Then came science fiction, fantasy, horror, and my forever love, Stephen King.
I found Margaret Atwood and Joyce Carol Oates and felt something I couldn’t define, something profound and spiritual, but at the same time they felt so real, so rooted in the collective consciousness it was my youthful vegetarian self tearing into a raw chunk of beef. Sylvia Plath, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Truman Capote, the list goes on. The poetry years, ee cummings, Anne Sexton, Edna St Vincent Millay….
Throughout the reading was the writing. Mostly short stories, several years of angsty poetry, and later, full length manuscripts.
Broke or flush, content or heartbroken, writing or reading, fiction has been my lifelong companion. Different genres for different phases of life, different moods. I wouldn’t say I was indiscriminate, but rather, I’ve had broad tastes; seen value, worth, and beauty in the different styles. So what the heck? My purse is lighter, no novel shoved in there. My end tables are neater, no texts I’m using for research toppling over. Flashes of scenes that need to be written rinse away with the shampoo. I’m singing a torch song, looking for my love. And let me tell you, my off key warble is nothing you want to hear for long. Think Edith Bunker.
I too am a book fan. I have a Nook now, in part because my gimpy wrists complain loudly when asked to hold a hardback weighing a good 4 or 5 pounds for more than a few minutes. But also because I sometimes like fairly smutty books, and don’t always want the covers to show when I’m reading in public.;)
I don’t write, have never had the desire, but I read like a fiend, and would love to have the chance to read something you’ve done. Your blog alone is a treat.
OK, so even though I’m not currently reading, I’m still a bit envious of your Nook. Nerd Child has one, so convenient.
You like em smutty, hmm? I might have something for you. 😛
Send kiltfan the smut! Ha ha ha ha.
Surprise, surprise, you and I like many of the same writers…and I no longer read fiction, either. I blame the interwebz.
Yes, let’s blame the interwebz. And my parents thought tv was the boob tube 😉 Nope, our similar tastes, not a surprise, but still ❤
I’m a reader and a former librarian. As I read this a recalled how much time I used to have to read in before I began to spend so much time online. Hmmmm … time to make some adjustments. Thanks for the good read.
Thanks for reading and commenting, TT. Putting my own all around fiction block to the side, I really believe it’s a mixed bag. It’s great to connect with others, share support, exchange ideas using the web. But it is so easy to lose hours. and hours.
I’ve had the same sort of thought process about TV and how it used to be the bane, but now it seems somehow more wholesome (read: familiar) and I almost wish my children would watch more TV and spend less time on computers.
Then I remember from some sort of recesses of my mind that NOVELS were once considered to be complete frivolity (wasn’t Jo in Little Women always in trouble for reading too much?)
I DO think the interwebz is part of the deal, for me, anyhow, because I get my reading fix on line instead of in a book…
This blog post makes me want to read some fiction. Something besides the Fifty Shades trilogy which, embarrassingly, I read in about 48 hours not too long ago… call it research.
I’m sure I shouldn’t admit this, but I was just enough of a nerd that I got into trouble for reading when I was a kid. Sure, I was reading when I was supposed to be doing other classwork, but still.
I do think we’ve become a society of soundbites, so even for those of us raised on novels and newspapers, we’ve begun to stop at the summary. Guess I shouldn’t complain, since that’s what opened the door to blogs and blogging, heh? 😉