Sunday, 23 February 2014

Reading Injuries and Getting Intimate


What could be a better way to spend a sleepy-eyed Sunday morning than a cosy chitchat about books? So curl up, get comfy, and join in! 




We all have a certain writer that we find ourselves inexpricably drawn to - a writer we connect with on an intellectual, emotional, or even spiritual level. Being able to form a truly personal connection with a person we've never met is one of the most beautiful aspects of reading. 

We're often worlds apart from the writers we love. We occupy different spaces in terms of gender, race, socio-economic background, or even state of consciousness, with many of our favourite writers having been dead for years! 

Yet, the relationship between writer and reader is one of the most intimate there is. The writer pours part of themselves onto the page and the reader brings their words to life, infusing them with their own shades of meaning. 


The act of reading is a partnership. The author builds a house, but the reader makes it a home.” Judi Picoult, Between the Lines

But it's not only the words which weave themselves into our consciousness, but the physical memories of where we were when we read them become precious memories too. 

I remember thorny branches poking my side as I pored over Harry Potter from the heights of a pink-tinged Magnolia tree. I remember the sting of sharp-edged pages crashing onto the bridge of my nose as the hot sun melted the glue binding my flimsy copy of The Lord of the Rings. And then there was the time I sustained inumerable bruises from crashing into display stands as I shuffled nose-deep in Roald Dahl's Esio Trot during a overly long shopping trip. 

Reading always leaves a physical impression on us: a crank in the neck from lying down horizontally, a twinge in the wrist after reading into the early hours, and pins and needles from propping oneself up on spindly elbows.

So why do we put ourselves through the discomfort? 

Because the act of reading is never wasted. The times we've spent absorbed in books have been weaving us into the people we are today and their influence, whether discernable or not, continues to shape us long after we've put the book down to rest our aching limbs.  



So over to you! 
What are your cherished memories of reading? 
Who are the writers or bloggers who you connect with most? And why?


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6 comments:

  1. When I was much younger my favourite writer was Isaac Asimov. I was not literary at all - I was far more interested in the excitement of ideas. Asimov was not a great writer by any standards but he fuelled my young imagination. Now I find it hard to re-read some of his books, because they were so badly written, but I shall never forget the influence he had on me.

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    1. That's so true, sometimes it's best not to go back and re-read because they might not live up to our nostalgic expectations. I had a similar feeling when I looked at some of the books I loved as a teenager. But you're right, the lasting influence they had or continue to have on us is more important than shoddy writing : )

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  2. Another excellent post Sarita, it resonated with me. Dad. Mwah! Mwah!

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  3. I rarely remember anything of where I read a book or how I felt at the time. When I read (and I only much read fiction) I go into that world so thoroughly it divorces me from anything that's happening in my own life. I used to write a diary entry inside the front cover of each book I bought as a way of keying it down in time. But now I read almost exclusively on my Kindle so even that link is broken.

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  4. ...a bit of a lazy response from me, as it's really just a link to an old blogpost of my own, but it does still answer your question :-)

    http://www.johnnylaird.net/2008/06/books-and-stuff-and-haruki-murakami/

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  5. Two of my favorite reading stories: My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Chastain, read aloud to my class, A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L'Engle. Still at nearly 60 one of my favorite books! I also read it aloud to my children. But, my favorite read aloud to my children was Swallows and Amazons, by Arthur Ransome, made special by the collective cheer rising from my children at a moment in the book when one group surprised another. Makes reading aloud so special when they are so engaged!!!

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