July 12, 2017
“In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.” ― Mark Twain
I’ve been thinking about this a lot.
There are many things that come to mind when I think of home. Usually it’s my family or my cats or even my own bed. But then I think of something else: My Bookshelves. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? How could a few pieces of furniture mean that much to someone? However, it isn’t the stark white towers of wood that welcome me, but the little bound adventures that sit upon their shelves. For years books have been my escape. They have helped me through many tough times and the best part is that there is a story for every situation.
People say that when you are upset or dealing with something, you should talk to someone, but to many people it’s not that easy. It is seen as just another impossible obstacle. Yet with books, I think they become loopholes. Think about it: Books are basically snippets of another person’s mind. I have always considered reading a second-hand version of mind reading. Even if it’s fiction, their thoughts and opinions on different subjects come through and even if you cannot talk to someone, you can gain insight on a problem through the written word. Whether your favourite character says it or a professor with a PhD.
There have been some defining moments in my life, things that I have had to face and deal with that without books would have been impossible. There are many coming-of-age novels that personally helped me. One in particular: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Bit of a cliché when it comes to the “teenage experience”, but that little book helped me through a very dark period in my life and for that I will always be grateful. So yes, books as such can help you out of a bad situation, but they don’t always have to be about pulling you out of something, they can also inspire you to try new things.
Books for me are not just to be read and then stowed away and used as casual decoration. I often think back to all the novels I have read and consumed. I think about their quotes and their characters. I wonder what it would be like to write something like it and imagine all the hard work the author put into it. Books aren’t just words on a page, there is a story behind each one, and not just the one you have to physically read.
When I write, my mind is like a giant spiderweb. There are thoughts on every corner of the web that interlock with images and sounds. It’s all one big picture that will be compressed into a seamless adventure. It amazes me that human beings can create such things. That is why I think home libraries are so important. Each of the books on your shelf had some type of “mind web” behind them. Some type of planning and thought went behind each one and for me that, in itself, is inspiring.
If you think of it in that retrospect then you start to see your book cases as more than just furniture, at least I do. Personally, I see them as muses. Each one a product of thought and hard work, but also comfort. The stories I want to write are ones that offer more than just simple entertainment. I want someone to read my book and take something away from it the same way I took away bits from Chbosky. Not in the literal sense of course, but in the sense that even through a fictional story, my writing helped them. Words are more than just strokes of a pen, they create life, beautiful life and I think that more people should see that.
When you walk into your living room or your bedroom or your study and you look at your bookshelves, what do you see? Do you see furniture? Or do you see something else? Do you know what I see?
I see peace.
From a Rowling to a Tolstoy, it is all thought made real and to me, that is pure art. It’s home.
I really have no idea where I was going with this post, but it is 2:52 in the morning and I can’t sleep. Maybe you will look at your shelves differently or maybe I just rambled on for absolutely no reason because I am sleep deprived. Whatever the case, I stand by what I said: If you set aside the obvious comforts i.e. family, friends, pets, etc, and just look at the material things; a book full of someone else’s imagination is something like no other.
Okay, I am exhausted so I am going to get some sleep. Just think about it and let me know what you decide? Do you agree or do you think I just went on a useless tangent about nothing? I am going to go with a little of both.