Here are a few of my favorite things in life:
- Ice Cream
- Olive trees in Italy
- The light at gloaming of the day in England
- A book that is so engaging it can keep you reading all night
I have one of those right now… the book, that it. It’s funny, really, because I don’t often listen to books on tape. But this one I have… and so I find myself driving around aimlessly just so I can stay in the car and hear what happens next. It is Sophie Kinsella’s new book, Finding Audrey, and it has pierced me on so many levels I find myself contemplating it all the time. It is the kind of book I want to own, just so I can hug it to me. Really, literally, hug it to me- like a good friend.
Books can do this to us sometimes. They can reach inside of us and find a treasure we didn’t even know existed. A kernel of some unacknowledged truth shines from within us, like, yes… here I am. I was waiting for you to see me here.
A telling characteristic of the main character in Finding Audrey, is that she never takes off her dark glasses. Because of her battles with social anxiety she can’t stand to see into other people’s eyes. And, if eyes are like a window to our souls then book covers, at their best, are windows into the souls of each book.
Creating a book store where all of the covers face outward would typically be considered folly by business analysts. Because it is Amazon, they can make it work. But I don’t want to get into the value case study for this… how their systems allow them to change inventory quickly, or how many people in the store will look at the book, then download the electronic version for a portion of the print price. I am sure they have figured out how to make the numbers work. What I want to acknowledge was how I felt, as a reader and an author, walking into that store.
… for the artistry of the book, the story … for people who create that art and those who care enough to read it … And for the need we all have, at some point in our life, to hug that book close and let it draw from us the parts of ourselves we otherwise keep hidden behind our dark glasses.
Here’s to your own great journeys into fabulous books.