“As she read, at peace with the world and happy as only a little girl could be with a fine book and a bowl of candy, and all alone in the house, the leaf shadows shifted and the afternoon passed.” – Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
Yesterday, I was a little girl. With many fine books, a personalised radio station called “a spot of tea”, and a couch of my very own. Shadows did shift, birds and buildings and cars and of everything moving like a city should. The morning passed. As did noon, dusk, and night. My pile of books grew, and I made friends with musicians Ive known I should make friends with for a while. I reacquainted myself with bookshelf friends Ive had since I was 12 – and old enough to read “grown up books.” My Friday wafted by, without me knowing how or when.
It didnt matter, really. I was luxuriating in my favorite kind of love affair. Someone, I dont remember who, said that a half-finished book is like a half-finished love affair. Hello, genius thought. Meeting an old loved book (or many loved books) after a long time, is like meeting that old love that you remember being perfect. There is no resentment, or regret – only that rare and wonderful feeling of coming home, and feeling, no-one understands like me you do.
A lot of people can’t understand how I can listen to music and read at the same time, giving equal importance and attention to both. I don’t understand how they can’t. Don’t they go hand and hand? Aren’t they both beautiful, both capable of making you live, of feeling like someone, somewhere knows exactly how you’re feeling and was smart enough to put into words and melody?
I feel sorry for people who don’t read. For the people who have never known the high that comes from listening to Among Savages sing, “have you given up on freedom, when you were free all along?”, at approximately the same time when Clare from Maeve Binchy’s Echoes decides to give up her education, her independence, her everything, to become a doctor’s wife in a seaside town.
For the people who don’t know that these kind of love affairs give you nothing but joy.