Monday, December 08, 2008

Why I Love Opening a Book

I have had a terrible day. No, make that a terrible few days. I have oodles of work, papers to grade, and lots of end-of-semester chores to complete. However, I can't concentrate.

Instead of work, I am burying myself in a book that has been in my TBR pile for more than a year. I knew it was the perfect choice when I got to this passage.
Stories were different, though: they came alive in the telling. Without a human voice to read them aloud, or a pair of wide eyes following them by flashlight beneath a blanket, they had no real existence in our world. They were like seeds in the beak of a bird, waiting to fall to earth, or the notes of a song laid out on a sheet, yearning for an instrument to bring their music into being. They lay dormant, hoping for the chance to emerge. Once someone started to read them, they could begin to change. They could take root in the imagination, and transform the reader. Stories wanted to be read, David's mother would whisper. They needed it. It was the reason they forced themselves from their world into ours. They wanted us to give them life.
Isn't that beautiful? Are you nodding in agreement with the sentiment? This is why I love opening a book. Each one I read surprises, comforts, and often teaches me in some way. After only three pages, this one is off to a grand start.

The above excerpt is from The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. You can read the first chapter online.


  1. that's lovely, Tricia. I once started to write a novel with that title and was so sad to see it existed in the world that I couldn't bring myself to read the book, but now I think I must.

    We can compare notes on terrible days later this week. Sorry to hear about yours.

  2. Sorry about the terrible days, Tricia. Hope that tomorrow is better. I use books as comfort, too.

  3. Man, that's great. I eat that stuff up, thanks.

  4. The Dolson boys had high praise for this book. We have it on CD, so I will have to take my turn to listen to it soon because it sounds like the perfect dark December book.
    And we'll have a happy late lunch on Thursday, right?