I read a quote recently, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.” It got me thinking. I love to read. I mean, I really love to read. Some years I’ll read 60 books, some years I’ll only read a few and every year I re-visit and re-live pages I’ve read before over and over again.
I have favourite books that I go back to repeatedly. Some with cracked spines and pages so thumbed over that the paperback falls open to my favourite paragraphs. They smell of all the homes I’ve moved them through and all the people I’ve lent them to, old cigarettes and spilled coffee. Some have little notes in pencil and others are highlighted in faded neon. I’m not a habitual corner folder but their corners are dogeared none the less. I will use just about anything as a bookmark; receipts, train tickets, bracelets, and especially post-it notes.
My box of beat up favourites now lives on top of my refrigerator in my kitchen. With each move, the box gets a little lighter as I thin down the stack that I just cannot live without.
And yet I rarely look at them these days. You see, I converted… I left behind paper about as soon as I could get my hands on a kindle. I was there from the start, with the clunky unlit brick with a little keyboard and leather case with a light that cost me more than the kindle itself.
In this time of isolation, I’ve found myself reading more than I have done for a long time. I’ve been able to relive the familiar country of Panem as Suzanne Collins has released The Ballad of Songbird and Snakes, a precursor to The Hunger Games. I’ve queued up a bunch of revisits to Veronica Roth’s post-apocalyptic Chicago in novellas from the Divergent series. And of course, those top-of-the-fridge favourites are being digitally thumbed through; The Beach by Alex Garland, A White Merc With Fins by James Hawes, and The Children of Men by PD James amongst many others.
The books themselves are nostalgic physical baggage that I just can’t quite bring myself to part with. The stories though, some I know so well they feel like a literary home. A total and comfortable and controlled escape to worlds of someone elses making but envisioned by me, with characters that feel like friends and the odd villain upon whom to direct the most negative of my energies. Newer kindles lost their physical keyboard and I’m not gonna lie, I miss it, but still, my eBooks are annotated and highlighted in perhaps a more liberal way than I ever did their paper counterparts. I love pouring over these little notes to seek nostalgic insight from stories I’ve lived before.
With so much going on in the world outside, and so much time to spare inside I hope you too can find comfort in stories; written, read, or otherwise. And whilst we fight for the epidemiological, political, societal, and environmental change that we need to see in our world I’ll leave you with a stand out from Catching Fire, “You’ve got to go through it to get to the end of it.”
Hair: Rain by Doux
Glasses: Harriet by e.marie
Dress: Wizard Apprentice Outfit by Cureless
Pose: Bookworm by Space Cadet
Books: Book Magic and Paper Magic by Disorderly
Decor: various by Honey Lemon, Random Matter, Half Deer, Avexxu
Skybox: Sorcerer’s Office by Minimal
Plants: Fiddle Leaf by Dust Bunny
Digital Scrapbook products from The Lilypad