I find it incredible that through books, we can visit exotic places, meet interesting characters, and sometimes learn a little about ourselves in the process. Books teach us about the intricacies of life and the human condition. They engage all of our senses, making us laugh or cry, or angry at the injustice characters face. They can also sexually arouse us, and therefore provide that much needed release.
In every manner, books provide a much needed escape from some of the drudgeries of life. But they can also take us places that we don’t want to visit, like Salvador by Joan Didion, about the late 70s and early 80s in El Salvador, when people were being kidnapped, when they disappeared and were murdered. I only read half the book—not because it was poorly written, on the contrary, it was brilliantly written, in fact, too brilliantly as it took me to places my spirit couldn’t handle. I had the most horrific nightmares, and woke up with my heart beating more rapidly than it’s ever done before. So rapidly that I wondered if I was in heart attack territory. Even so, I am richer for what I’ve read, as I’ve gained more insight and even greater sympathy for those who finds themselves living in terror.
Books bring us together, but they can also tear us apart, as is evident with the power of the Bible and the Koran to influence thinking. Here, I believe we have two powerful books, that have wonderful messages about love and being kind to your neighbor. Unfortunately, as with many ideas, these messages can be and are misinterpreted by zealots.
As I tend to look on the bright side of life, I’ll leave the above writing for your contemplation and offer here the wonderful Academy Award winning film, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Enjoy! If you are so inspired to leave a comment afterwords about how books have affected you, I’d love to hear it.