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I was chatting with a friend the other night, discussing things in our lives, and our plans for the future.
During that conversation, we discussed objects and the sentimentality behind them. Something you will hear when researching simplistic/intentional lifestyles or organizational tips is learning to understand why you keep something. The suggestion is that you take a picture of the object so you can remember the memories and then let the object go. My friend was relating how she’s had success with this method, but for some objects, nothing can replace how it feels or smells – like an old book. I completely agree.
Old books are old friends. You know the characters, the location, how the spine feels in your hand, and the journey you are about to embark on. You want to refresh every detail in your mind with the re-reading. You know the excitement, chills, or comfort it will bring, and you’re excited to spend your time in the world the author created. A good book is one that I can read myself completely into. You know what I mean? Everything around you melts away, and you are there. You smell the air, hear the sounds and the voices around you. Suddenly, it’s hours later; your tea is cold beside you, and you don’t want to be pulled back into real life. When the story is finished, there’s a small twinge in your heart because the characters are no longer with you. A fantastic book will linger.
When I read a fantastic book, I’ll re-run passages in my head, and for just a short while my internal monologue takes on the cadence of the characters. Then slowly, it fades. I’m on my own again and find other things to fill my time and mind. I read other books . . . but then one day, I pick up that old favorite and read it again.
I read some of my favorite books so long ago that I don’t think I can imagine my life without the knowledge of them. Two that immediately come to mind are Gone with the Wind and Anne of Green Gables. I swear I reference Gone With the Wind more than any modern woman should. What are your favorite old book-friends? Let me know so I can meet them.