Monday, January 15, 2007

books, and the women who love them

If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you may have noticed that I have a certain passion for books. Actually, it's more to the point that I love reading, as I'll read just about anything. In a fit of desperation a couple of years ago, I even grabbed Steph's Petit Larousse (which is about as "petit" as an elephant) and started flipping through its illustrated pages. This is an obsession that started when I was still in Kindergarten, when Mom would take my sister and I on weekly trips to the library, where I could borrow as many books as I could carry and then read them so fast I was ready to go back in the middle of the week. It's not just the act of reading, but the ability to step into another world. Even during the worst times in my life, I had my escape, neatly bound between two covers and small enough to throw in my bag.

As I'm sure you can imagine, English books are hard to come by here in the Middle of Nowhere, France. There are two shops in Troyes that feature a small selection of English books, which are excellent if I've been too long without a book, but if I'm looking for something in particular it means going to the internet, and that can get a bit expensive. Lucky for me, my friend Doc suffers from the same obsession and from time to time we have the occasion to borrow from each other's personal libraries.

So it came to pass that on New Year's Day, I was allowed in Doc's hallowed library to choose a couple of books to borrow. Lo and behold, she deigned to lend me the motherlode - not only the Chronicles of Narnia but the Dark Tower series as well!

I hadn't read the Chronic(what?!)cles of Narnia* since I was probably ten years old, so revisiting them after twenty (gah!) so many years has been a revelation. I've fallen in love all over again and I'm going to have to buy my own copy so I can reread it again and again. I think I've even come across what may be my favorite opening sentence for a book ever:

"There once was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C.S. Lewis.

Isn't it wonderful?

Anyway, I've just started the Dark Tower series. I have a vague recollection of starting this series way back when, but I sort of went off Stephen King quite a long time ago. However, everyone raves about this series so much that I'm willing to give him a second chance.

And then, wouldn't you know it, two days later the postman dropped a notice in our mailbox - the two boxes of books I'd shipped to myself from North Carolina had arrived. Next up after the Dark Tower: rereading the Outlander series before buying the latest in the series.

Looks like I'm going to be knee-deep in books, both borrowed and my own, equally treasured, for a long while. That's just how I like it.

*I'd planned to make a goofy reference/link to SNL's "Lazy Sunday" but the Powers That Be have yanked it from You Tube. *sigh* Well, I know you're hip so I know you got the joke. *wink*

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