Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fiction, take me away!


Image from http://curezone.com/upload/Art/bookworld_small.jpg

During the month of November, we tend to turn our attention to the things in our lives for which we're thankful.  If you're on Facebook, chances are you've seen daily updates from people who are chronicling gratitude during this month of Thanksgiving.  A friend of mine has taken a unique spin on this and devoted her monthly status updates to chronicling the books she's grateful for.  I thought this was a great idea and we got into a discussion about some of the books that have been particularly noteworthy to us, for whatever reason.  We agreed that there are a few good books that transcend the pages and take root in our lives.  I'm going to borrow directly from Robin here, because I believe she said it better than I could: "our favorite books don't exist as objects to us, but instead as places that we go to when we're reading them -- as real as the rooms in our houses, they are places that are special to us and that make us feel a way that we don't feel when we're anywhere else."

Recently, I've been in a bit of a book rut.  Maybe it's because it's the time of year when I tend to switch gears from heavier literary fare to fluffier, cozier reads.  Whatever the reason, I have been drawn away from the stack of books I have waiting for me (all of which sound very interesting, but none of which sound really appealing right now) and toward some classics like A Wrinkle in Time, The Secret Garden, and The Anne of Green Gables series.  Each of these books has the ability to take me away from whatever is going on in my life at that moment and transport me to a different experience.  It's not exactly that I feel like I'm where the characters are (although I defy you to read Diana Gabaldon's Outlander and not feel like you've been transported back to 18th century Scotland along with Claire), but that I'm someplace completely apart -- someplace I can only get by reading that particular book.  Erin Morgenstern's debut novel, The Night Circus is the most recent book that completely immersed me in a different world. 

These fiction doldrums I've been in for the past week never last very long.  I imagine that within a week or two, I'll be diving back into my stacks of new books.  Until then, I'll happily go back to the books that take me away -- and that is something I'm thankful for.

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