One of the things I value highly in life is a good book. There is nothing a good book can’t fix; a bad mood, a lazy day, loneliness, language barriers, lack of inspiration, even a bad hangover. I realize the value of a good book even more when I read one that is less-than-good. Not to say bad, but when I can easily put it down only to return when I remind myself that it is quietly waiting for me to join its adventure once again.
For me, reading is an escape and when I find a book I love I won’t put it down until I finish. I can read for 4 or 5 days straight and will feel a great sense of accomplishment and sadness when its over. I should probably mention here that I mourn the loss of characters and stories when a book is over. I find myself still thinking about them, their stories, their possible future endeavors, the whys and hows of a tale unfolded.
Depending how captivated I was, I might think about this book non-stop for a week or two, even if I’ve already delved into an affair with another. When I finish a good read, the last thing I want to do is smudge the clarity of each character with another, but part of me feels so exhilarated from the read that I can’t wait to jump into the next one. They say each person mourns in a different way, and so it is always with a mixture of great anticipation and guilt that I let the memory rest for the remainder of the day and jump into the next the following morning – out of respect, of course.
As I sit in a beautiful little cafe in the Carmelitas section of Asuncion – Cafe de Aca – listening to soothing music with my new affair on my lap, (Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami,) I feel a sense of relief at being able to jump into a new piece of fiction. My last rendez-vous left a less than satisfying taste in my mind as I dutifully read every last page – only for the anticipation of being able to retire it to the shelf in my room and pick up a nice, new, un-adventured counterpart.
The beginning of a new book is a love affair with all of the butterfly excitement as characters become themselves and their unknowns and idiosyncrasies pour out on the pages before you, waiting to be devoured.