it’s just the page, there before you

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(image by homies in heaven via flickr)

My youngest child has become a voracious reader, which gives me frissons of joy. She is like a hungry bear right before hibernation time, scarfing down all the salmon she can get her claws on as though the river will soon run dry (fortunately for her, and me, and all of us fortunate ones, the river of words will never die).

Trees are precious, and money does not, I learned long ago, grow on them, so whenever I can I steer her towards the library or, if the book is out and my favorite local bookstore closed, an ebook, since usually she cannot wait.

Recently we picked up the next tome of the series she’s reading, a hefty one. While previously she had been a bit reticent to embrace ebooks, now, she told me, she rather prefers them. I was surprised.

“But I thought you liked physically holding the book, especially one like that, with a hardcover and creamy pages…”

“No, it’s kind of awkward to hold.”

“Really? But don’t you like knowing where you are in the book? That’s something you don’t have in an ebook.”

“I know, that’s why I like it.” 

I looked to her questioningly. “How so?”

“With an ebook its just the page, there before you, the words. You don’t have to think about anything else… not what’s ahead, or what’s behind.”

God, I love that. As a reader, a writer, a mama…. on so many levels, the words

________

it’s all about the story

It is, in the end, all about the story. The words, lest we forget, are only vehicles there to tell it, to determine whether or not the tale behind wriggles its way under our thick-skinned selves, worming its way through muscle and winding around veins and easing itself into the blood-filled cushion of our heart’s tissues.

So many of the books I’ve read of late are smart and buzzed about, they are cool, they are curious in form and clever in word. They entertain in the way that mediocre things do.

But every now and again you come across a story of beauty, whether terrible and cruel or lovely and joyful, or both or all of the above or a combination of that and more, so much more. There is no mistaking it, these creations that reach us, that move and possess us, that leave us wanting to remain forever within. That is why we read, and what all writers, I imagine, strive for (whether or not it is attainable by willing it to be so, or a gift given not learned, I am not sure.)

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