Falling in (Book) Love

FOR YEARS, I’VE BEEN SEARCHING.

That significant other. Someone to curl up with at the end of a long day. The one that makes you feel alive. Gives you hope. Inspires and helps you forget all your worries. If only, for a few hours.

Turns out, I’ve been looking in the wrong places.

So the saying goes, ‘you’ve gotta kiss a few frogs before you find your prince‘.

As a gawky teenager and into my early-twenties, I had an unhealthy fascination with reading literature classics. I spent more time in the company of old gnarly cobwebbed Russian books than I did with real people.

Time wasted? Not in the slightest.

Some of my most enjoyable memories from that time actually came from that psychic transfer of characters and landscapes. Crossing centuries and continents. Inhabiting worlds dreamt by sometimes long-forgotten (at least in mainstream terms) authors who continue to endure long after their deaths.

Immortalised in their work, these are perennial classics.

The operative word being ‘Classics’. For a reason.

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In the last decade, something changed. My reading tastes changed. My patience withered. Gone, the days of spending hours fixated on a book. Seems that this malaise crept up on not only me, but my friends too.

Social media undoubtedly played a key part. Forever, changing the way I consume information. No longer ‘deep-diving’ and getting lost in the content, instead I find myself skimming, picking out key concepts and quickly moving on. Wading the shallows instead of exploring the depths.

Finite time and infinite streams of information on multiple platforms clamouring for my attention, I’ve opened the gate to allow anyone and everyone in. The security guard that was selective in who he’d let in, is long gone. Collected his P45. Employed elsewhere.

I used to be a voracious book reader, maxing out my eight book limit on my library card on every visit (remember libraries?). Now, I only get through a couple books a month. Woeful. Yet I feel like I read as much content as I ever did. Admittedly, trashy sites and social chatter.

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A couple of weeks ago I read Stephen King’s ‘Misery‘. I knew the story from the movie of course. But the reading experience…being a fly on the wall in the house of Annie Wilkes? Like comparing a McDonalds Happy Meal to a gourmet steak dinner.

Something that had lain dormant, rose up again. An old stranger visiting from a time long forgotten. Years had passed. But there was that old familiarity. As if, we’d never been separated. The book love.

Pure joy.

Time to recapture that. I’m going back to the classics. Namely science fiction/horror. A genre I love and would particularly like to hone my craft in.

No better way than to learn from the Masters.

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7 thoughts on “Falling in (Book) Love

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