Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Passion for Words, for Books

I just discovered a new blog through Pink Ink, called Inside My Oyster, written by Elizabeth.

And Elizabeth quoted Anais Nin in one of her posts:

"The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle."


Sometimes words can just make your heart stop, can't they?

image Elizabeth also posted Oriah Mountain Dreamer's The Invitation, something I haven't read in ages, but feels like something I should be reading every day. I even bought the book, ages ago, but it's not living in my nightstand. It should.

What are your nightstand books? You know, the ones you keep close at hand, always? The ones that have spiritual meaning, or inspirational meaning? imageThe ones you just have to know are there, even if you don't read them everyday? 

And at the suggestion of Lisa, another new blog buddy, I bought The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Now isn't this just the most amazing truth you've ever read? A boy's father takes him to the "Cemetery of Forgotten Books." Doesn't this just make you want to weep?

"This is a place of mystery, Daniel, a sanctuary. Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens... In this place, books no longer remembered by anyone, books that are lost in time, live forever, waiting for the day when they will reach a new reader's hands. In the shop we buy and sell them, but in truth books have no owner. Every book you see here has been somebody's best friend."


There are sure a lot of books that have been my best friend. Well, not my best friend, because only one person holds that position, but you know what I mean.

Which books have been your best friend?

32 bonus scribbles:

Aerin 12/16/2008 08:32:00 PM  

I don't know - I think best friend is accurate, in my case. :)

Rose in Bloom, by Little Women
Wild Magic, by Tamora Pierce
Beauty, by Robin McKinley
Anne of the Island, L.M. Montgomery

I'm sure the list goes on - I love that someone else keeps books close in the bedside stand just for the comfort of having those particular titles close!

lainey bancroft 12/16/2008 09:03:00 PM  

I'm with Aerin!

Rose and her Eight Cousins, the March sisters (particularly Jo) and the characters created by Louisa May Alcott were my best friends. Along with Montgomery's Anne.

I'm trying really hard to think of modern, adult characters who have struck me the same. Nada. :(

Like you, I have certain passages in books that linger--parts from Anne-Marie MacDonald's 'Fall On Your Knees', from Gabaldon's Highlander series, from Jeffrey Eugenides' 'Middlesex', from Rohinton Minstry (hash of name spelling and can't remember the name of the book...gah)from...from...from, But yeah, I really don't have an 'adult read' character that holds me the way the childhood ones did.

Hmm. Something to think about as I try to build reality into imaginary people. Might just be the slap up side the head I needed!

THANK YOU!

Lisa 12/16/2008 10:10:00 PM  

That's great you picked up Shadow of the Wind - keep us posted on how you feel.
I don't usually read books twice but I've been tempted.
(Now time to watch True Blood)
Perhaps I'll have to check out these other books mentioned by Aerin and Lainey.

Anonymous,  12/16/2008 11:50:00 PM  

What a wonderful quote. A lot of books have been my friends, but I'm not so sure that all books these days have souls. Too many seem to be manufactured to achieve sales or push readers' buttons in a mechanical way. They are really just machines. What I love about books is what this quote says -- how they contain a bit of the author. I prefer a flawed book with some of the author in it to a brilliantly engineered one.

Eric Mayer,  12/16/2008 11:52:00 PM  

Sheesh...why do I keep making myself anonymous? I guess I'm modest.

Eric

spyscribbler 12/17/2008 01:33:00 AM  

Ohmigosh, Aerin! I COMPLETELY forgot about Rose in Bloom! Completely! Ohmigosh, I ADORED that book. I LOVED that book!

Isn't that weird? How we can just completely forget books exist, books that meant so much to us?

spyscribbler 12/17/2008 01:35:00 AM  

Gosh, Lainey, I want to go back and read all my childhood books again.

For me, as an adult, it's been Stephanie Plum. She has been the greatest friend as I've grieved while Glenn has been gone. To the point that even when gas was $4.00 a gallon, I would drive around just so I could listen to one more chapter, because it made me feel less lonely.

I just started Middlesex, and LOVE his voice. He reminds me of John Irving, in a way!

spyscribbler 12/17/2008 01:37:00 AM  

Sure thing, Lisa! I'm a little ADD in my reading. I pick up things, switch to books. I'm like a kid in the toy store, who keeps dashing every where because he's so excited, but has trouble picking one thing to play with.

So far, it's an amazing book.

spyscribbler 12/17/2008 01:39:00 AM  

Eric, yeah, I'd have to agree. I need the heart. I've been trying to edit a book I wrote ages ago, that had something very personal in it. It's such a mess, I have no clue how to fix it. But it's the first book that garnered reader response, and I think it's because it's the first book I was real and honest in. I don't know. It's all a mystery, I think.

spyscribbler 12/17/2008 01:39:00 AM  

PS: When I saw the anonymous comment, my first thought was: I bet that's Eric!

colbymarshall 12/17/2008 06:09:00 AM  

Hmm....hmm...this is tough. I don't know if I have any books I'd consider a best friend, but I definitely have some I read over and over!

rjkeller 12/17/2008 08:27:00 AM  

"The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint Exupéry. (Yep, I Googled the name, then did a copy/paste so I could get the little doo-hickey above the "e".) That book is like Philosophy 101 for kids. And for kid-like adults like me.

GREAT topic by the way, Spy.

Pink Ink 12/17/2008 08:51:00 AM  

Hi spy :-) I agree, Elizabeth is a find. And she has some great reads to recommend.

I love books! My best friends have been

Frenchman's Creek and Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Wuthering Heights
Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

so many to mention, but those top the bill.

Thanks for your kind words on my blog. See you when I get back :-)

Janna Qualman 12/17/2008 09:39:00 AM  

I know this will sound incredibly broad, but for me it's those books which have taken me through a large spectrum of emotion. I love that ride.

Melanie Avila 12/17/2008 09:49:00 AM  

I also don't tend to reread books. As a kid I read all the Sweet valley High books over and over, so I guess you could say Jessica and Elizabeth were my best friends, lol. I loved the March sisters didn't go back to them more than two or three times.

I love the idea that books have a soul. It's easy to forget that every book holds someone's time and energy. Makes it seem like I have a roomful of people, not just a roomful of books. Maybe I should cover up a bit more. ;)

Robin 12/17/2008 11:31:00 AM  

Wonderful post, Spy. Gosh, so many books have left an impression on me, but I feel like I easily flit from book to book, and find new characters to love, somewhat forgetting about the old ones. Is that terrible of me? I will remember them, if I look at that older book on my shelf, but rarely do I reread books. I am a huge Stephanie Plum fan like you though!

Robin 12/17/2008 12:00:00 PM  

I was about to apologize to Robin for being Robin also, and then I realized that was demented. I'll be RobinA.

My favorites are all snuggled up in the bookshelf - all the Anne books, Lord of the Rings, Stephen King's Dark Tower series, Garth Nix's Abhorsen series. Next to my bed are all the books I mean to read but haven't had the time! (Marley & Me, Stephen King's "On Writing", "The Queen of Bedlam".) They stare at me accusingly every night before I crawl into bed.

spyscribbler 12/17/2008 12:46:00 PM  

Colby, I always have a tough time bringing to mind my favorite books on demand, too. It's not that I don't have them, it's that my brain doesn't work well under instant demands, LOL!

spyscribbler 12/17/2008 12:47:00 PM  

RJ, I'm pretty sure that's Erica Orloff's favorite, too. I read it on her recommendation, and remembered it all over again. I loved it!

spyscribbler 12/17/2008 12:49:00 PM  

Pink Ink, I was so excited to find her blog! I just started re-reading Rebecca this year, but I haven't read any of her other books. I haven't read Nine Coaches Waiting, either. I must put that on my list!

spyscribbler 12/17/2008 12:50:00 PM  

Janna, I love that journey, too. I like to laugh and cry, to go through an emotional roller coaster in a book. I don't know why, but... I do.

spyscribbler 12/17/2008 12:50:00 PM  

Melanie, ohmigosh! I forgot about Sweet Valley High! I think I was in the 100s before I stopped reading it. Jessica and Elizabeth were awesome. I can't remember much of the books, but I sure remember they were my friends.

spyscribbler 12/17/2008 12:51:00 PM  

Robin, I'm not a good re-reader, either. I've been on a stint this last year, but there are just so many amazing books I'd like to read, you know? And so little time...

spyscribbler 12/17/2008 12:53:00 PM  

Awww, you don't want accusations before you go to bed, Robin! LOL, I ordered Garth Nix's series on my Kindle, so I'm looking forward to reading it. I love my Kindle. I can't wait until you get yours, so I have a friend to love it, too!

Kath Calarco 12/17/2008 03:39:00 PM  

Beautiful quote from "The Shadow of the Wind". I must check that one out. How true it is that books are the writers' souls.

And there's nothing like those timeless books such as Lainey mentioned. They never get old. I want to be them! LOL

On my nightstand are to Billy Collins' books of poetry (I have a mad crush on him): "Sailing Alone Around the Room" and "Ballistics".

Christina 12/17/2008 07:11:00 PM  

That's a hard one to answer. I think at the moment, it might be Holly Black's "Tithe." She really impressed me, but I'm such a fan of the faeries, so who knows.

Edie 12/18/2008 01:11:00 AM  

I've read and loved too many great books with great characters to pick one. From fairy tales, to Nancy Drew, to mysteries, fantasy, romance, women's fiction. And many more that can't be cateogorized.

I'm reading one right now, that's by my elbow. I know it's good when I don't want to be parted from it, even when I know I won't be able to read it. It's Ties of Affection by Tessa Barclay.

Janet 12/18/2008 08:04:00 PM  

My best friends? The Narnia books, Lord of the Rings, The Hiding Place (Corrie ten Boom's story, non-fiction), the Bible, My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok, Madman by Tracy Groot, A Canticle for Leibowitz... I could read these over a hundred times and not tire of them. And a bunch more, including many of those already mentioned.

spyscribbler 12/19/2008 12:28:00 AM  

Kath, you've mentioned him before! I've sought him out, and read a few of his poems at Borders. I'm waiting for them to release his stuff on Kindle!

spyscribbler 12/19/2008 12:30:00 AM  

Christina, I saw that in the store! I just downloaded the sample to my Kindle. When you are fascinated by something twice, it's time for further reading!

spyscribbler 12/19/2008 12:33:00 AM  

Edie, I loved Nancy Drew! It is so hard to pick one, you're right. I do love those books I want to keep at hand, even when I'm not reading them. They're special!

spyscribbler 12/19/2008 12:34:00 AM  

Janet, I think I read The Hiding Place TEN TIMES growing up! I LOVED The Hiding Place! Love it! I have actually never talked with someone else who'd read it.

It was one of the first books I owned, in at least the first ten or fifteen!