Sunday, May 7, 2017

A Book's Meaning

I was at my parents' house yesterday, flipping through 'Time and Again' by Jack Finney, while they were watching 'Silent Witness' on television. 

They had just spent a week away house sitting a gorgeous house and two just-as gorgeous border collies; and barely watched any television. Mum read her books, did some of jig-saw puzzle and walked around an impressive garden. However, the swimming pool wasn't touched; as it's becoming a little chilly to swim now.

But only days into being back at home, they're right back into their old routine of watching hours upon hours of television in the afternoons. Okay, they read for a few hours in the morning, but I worry about how much time they spend watching television when they have so much more in life they could be doing. 

Mum keeps on telling me she'd love to write a book about her life 'one day'. But she never gets started on it. I have been writing one; and it's not the easiest thing to write. Not everyone will like it, not everyone will agree with what you've written, and not everyone will be shown in the best light... but it's about my life not theirs. If they want to read about their lives, they can write a book about their life. 

I've just read an article about how precious books have become to us now; and how they change the way we think from year to year. I've been collecting books since I was 4 years old, when they used to be an escape for me. I was born with Epilepsy and so reading helped me escape the problems, doctor's appointments and complications that came with that condition. 
Now I'm older, I read for the pure enjoyment of the experience of the escape. There's nothing to escape from. Normally, if I can't find what I want to escape into, I start writing about it - as I'm a writer as well. There's nothing like the sheer joy of creating worlds of your very own from nothing but a blank page; and then perfecting it - taking the time to perfect it - and hoping it takes off at some point and getting it published. 

Books are - in essence - tiny universes between the covers of an author's imagination. It's not often a writer will tell you exactly what's on their mind, however, if you'd like to know what a writer is truly like, look at their book collection (and a writer who doesn't have a book collection - a physical book collection - is one to be suspicious of). I have a room filled to the brim with books of all kinds. And being an artist as well, I integrate books into my paintings and artworks to show how much I can't live without books in my life. 

So, what kinds of meanings do books have for you? Do you collect them to read a huge series like 'The Wheel of Time'? Or do you have a favourite author or two who you've been following since you were in high school? Or is it something you've had to do because you're studying to be in the sciences or something more complex? Until my next post, happy reading. 


  1. I can't remember not loving to read. In school, I "hid" a reading book in my lap, not suspecting that the teacher could clearly see it under the desktop! Wow! I thought I was getting away with something!
    My favorite authors have changed over the years. For awhile I read all the Victoria Holt books I could find, then Eugenia Price, and later Mary Higgins Clark. After awhile a favorite author starts to get predictable. Now I never read more than 2 or 3 books by the same author - not on purpose; it just happens that way. I never tire of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, though.

    Would it work to write your mother's life story for her? It might be worthwhile for both of you to spend time interviewing her, letting her tell her story to you, and you could write it for her. Just a suggestion.

    1. Oh! You did that too? I did that with a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' book in a science class which was really boring me. And the teacher confiscated it until the end of the class. I was laughed at, but I really liked the book.

      And isn't reading just the best thing? I love it. No matter what I'm getting my nose into, I love reading. It could be an art book, non-fiction biography or a sci-fi book, I'm there inside the story.

      I've tried writing Mum's story for her, but she clams up on the details. And when it comes to the other bigger things in her life, she changes the details all the time. So, I've just thought it best to write mine and let everyone think what they want.