Monday, January 25, 2010

ON BOOKS ~ Bedfellows...

Photo courtesy Tiago da Fonesca

One of the groups I participate in on Goodreads recently had a light hearted tongue in cheek exchange about who was bringing which author into bed with them night after night (via their book) for a romp - and if it was exciting, exhausting or downright boring. It made me laugh but it also got me to thinking about how much we personalize the reading experience. The characters become our own. The story becomes a motivator, an inspiration, a reminder, a desire. The authors become our co-conspirators.

For me personally, if a story and its characters stay with me for months after the fact - it was a good read. I find myself bringing up the book to fellow readers to put those feelers out and see if anyone else has experienced the story. If they have, then my thoughts just come tumbling out in rapid fire. I am so excited to share the journey and discover if they have taken the same path that I did. If they haven't read the book, I find myself badgering them to borrow it, buy it, read it somehow - as soon as possible so I will have someone to compare notes with.

But even then, there are times that I hold back. I want to keep some things to myself. Sometimes I feel I have been entrusted with a character's secrets and I don't want to let them down. Not everyone perhaps has figured out that the character really did have a soft side. They may not appear sympathetic to the rest of the world but that's just because those other readers didn't care enough to discover that layer.

Others I fight to the death for, defending their honor. Shedding light on what should be obvious for the world to see. Just how important and impactful they are - not just another character to be lost in the shuffle of endless books with generic players.

I tend to hold the characters closer than the authors. Writers can be such a fickle lot. One moment they are full of originality and sparkle. The next they are whoring out their characters to make a buck. I don't generally stick with one author for too long. I can't stand to see them that way. But there are a few that I stay true to. They can do no wrong in my eyes. I love their words, their stories, and of course, their characters. I want to hold onto them as tight as I do to the worlds they allowed me to create in my mind. And I like nothing better than bringing them to bed with me in the evening. Do you think William Faulkner and Harper Lee would be offended by such a threesome?


Sandy Nawrot said...

Haha! I must admit, there are some books that give me such a feeling of euphoria, it is almost like being in love. This last audio I listened to...The Girl Who Played with Fire? I got tingly every time I knew I was going to get a chunk of time to listen. To me there is no better feeling than snuggling down in my comfy bed and reading one of these books. Bliss.

Penny said...

I do this quite a bit. My books are like a whole new world (*cue Aladdin music*). When I read I am somewhere else. I usually attach to one character or another and sometimes I love a character. Sometimes so much that I am so very sad when the book is over and I won't be seeing them anymore.

I am also the same when it comes to loving a book so much and then wanting others to read the same so we can compare :) I do this to my Ma all the time. Luckily she usually bites and reads the books and then we get to talk about them. :)

jingle said...

I love reading books too,
what insightful post,
loved the photo shots on top,

happy Tuesday, ;)

SeƱor Steve said...

We can only speculate on what might be Faulkner's and Harper Lee's views on this threesome thing, Molly. Neither one is speaking publicly now for very different reasons.

Margot at Joyfully Retired said...

I am not necessarily in a different place when I read but I'm with a whole new set of people. Probably because I prefer character driven stories. And, these people often stay my friends. I think about them years later. Last year I re-read some of my childhood favorites and enjoyed it so much because it was a visit with old friends. And yes, sometimes they are still in my head when I go to bed.

lv2scpbk said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. That is a big book. LOL.

Will said...

I found out long ago that the only reading I can bring to bed are magazines, short stories, things like that. If I bring a good full length book, I end up not getting any sleep!

Beth F said...

I love it when I find a book that so grabs me that when I when I put the book down, I have to blink and take a moment to realize where I am. Isn't that bliss?

And I want a blanket that looks like book!