Friday, February 20, 2009

For the love of books

I have a hard time ignoring my husband in the evening to read a book I'm too busy during the day and when I collapse at night, I'd really just like to cuddle up with a book occasionally, instead of with my husband watching TV for an hour. But at 6:00 last night, he announced he was sorry he wouldn't be watching anything - he was going to down a dose of Nyquil and go to bed and see if he could nip his cold in the bud before it took him over. I turned sorrowful, sympathetic eyes to him, bid him good-night, and grabbed the first book my fingers touched in the stack. I hoped he hadn't noticed my eagerness to see him disappear down the hall!

You have to understand, reading has always been a treat to me - something I could only do when my work was finished. (My mother must have had something to do with that, don't you think?) So I don't treat myself nearly as often as I'd like - or as I should! I console myself with the idea that I am getting through ten or fifteen books a year listening on CD in the car. But it really isn't the same, is it?

I immediately turned the furnace down, wrapped in a blanket, put the phone where I could easily reach it, and opened the book. In the first paragraph, I was transported to another time and another place, a different world than my own. What a wonderful blessing we have in books and in the ability to read them. I take that for granted far too often.

Then the ability to write them is another huge blessing. I have always written - created - something: poems, made up stories and songs for my siblings, written Christmas and Easter presentations for sacrament meet, road shows (wasn't that fun, traveling from church to church at night when you were a teenager!) And I've always been an avid reader, but when my favorite authors began filling their books with offensive material, I decided there must be others like me who liked a good mystery with all the garbage that you had to skip over. Thus was born a new career - at age 55!

I loved Anna's thoughts on writing. It is very hard work. But the creative process, the ideas pouring forth when you're on a roll, the scenes that play in your head as you write as fast as your fingers can type - that is pure joy! Then to hold that finished product with its shiny beautiful cover is almost - well - akin to holding a new baby in your arms. Unfortunately, sometimes the birthing of that book is almost as painful as the birthing of a child. I'm certainly glad I didn't have to carry any of my babies in the womb as long as this last book has taken to see the light of day! (I'm being optomistic and thinking it may actually be published this year!)

I actually stayed up last night and finished the book - a real treat to be able to read a book cover to cover in one sitting. Of course, I didn't get up at 4:00 this morning, therefore many of you may have to checked in to read the blog and found it wasn't posted yet. My apologies. But I know that I will be forgiven - especially knowing that every one of you feel the same about getting lost in another world in a book. That is one of the truly great pleasures of life.

So keep writing, you wonderful ladies. I would hope one of my last acts, just before I die in my sleep, is to finish one of your books and lay it aside with satisfaction at having entered, just for a brief time, a new and wonderful and different world from my own. Thank you for contributing to my well-being and enjoyment of life!


Cheri J. Crane said...

I absolutely love reading a good book every chance I get, too, Lynn. Be sure to let us know when your new book will make its arrival into the literary world.

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

Such kindred spirits! I can so relate. :-)

Jeri Gilchrist said...

Aw... such a sweet post, Lynn. I love getting caught up in a really good book; one that has you so wrapped up in it that you can't put it down.

I know exactly how you feel. I kept nodding my head in understanding as I read your post.

Gale Sears said...

Such a good blog! Reading has always been one of my great joys. I have a child (grown child) who doesn't read, and my heart aches for what they're missing. Oh well, perhaps there will be a giant library in the hear-after. I'll see you all there!