Sunday, March 07, 2010

Books to take through life

There are many books and many authors whose work I read over and over again. I see something new every time because I am different. I have grown, experienced more and read more, especially since I am a voracious reader. Everything I am and have seen, done and known I bring to what I read and see something different every time.

I read Jane Austen's books and Stephen King's The Stand about every two years. I go back and read everything Andre Norton ever wrote and see nuances and subtleties I missed the first twenty times I read them. I also learn new truths with each new reading.

Right now I'm re-reading Edgar Rice Burroughs and reading some new books he wrote, like the John Carter of Mars series. I was more interested in Pellucidar when I was a child and that's all the library had. I didn't know then there were more.

I read H. P. Lovecraft, using his short works like an hors d'oeuvre in between longer works, books I have to review, and the short stories of Harlan Ellison as mental sherbet to cleanse the literary palate before diving back into the literary fray.

The books I read as a child were full of wonder and magic. When I read those books as a teenager, they provided a view on a world I wanted to know, a world of adults and freedom. As a young woman with small children, those same books offered respite from the day-to-day chores and struggles of dealing with rowdy boys, diapers and bottles. When the kids were older, the books were a common ground, a bridge between my boys struggling to find their own autonomy and freedom so that they didn't get too far away. As an writer, the books gave me a strong, stable base from which to launch my own writing and reading them again helps me to see the structure behind the magic that helps me create my own magic. And through it all there have been friends I look forward to seeing again, friends who share their intimate thoughts and worries and woes with me and let me know they've been there, too. All of this comes from the same books, books I read as a child and continue to read and new books I discover for which only one reading is never enough.

No comments: