I’ve always found that I enjoy reading on two levels: One is the book itself, and the other is the experience of reading. Books are the best travel companions, as they are far more portable than any other forms of entertainment. Because of this, readers tend to accumulate a great many ‘reading memories’, in a variety settings, and during different periods of their lives. I knew the folks at Bookstr would have plenty to share on the topic, so I asked them to share a particularly memorable reading experience. Check em out!
Gaby: “When I was younger, I shared a room with my brother. My mom would come in every single night, without fail, and read from great books like The Never Ending Story and the Harry Potter series. I honestly feel like this fomented my love of reading at an early age. When I started to read Harry Potter on my own, my mom and I were a little sad, so we decided to read it together. My brother, on the other hand, stopped reading completely. Lazy boy. (My brother audiobooks now and it works really well for him.)”
Epiphany: “One of my favorite reading memories is sneaking a book under the covers with a flashlight to read past my bedtime when I was a kid. I would always fall asleep with my glasses on and a book in my hand. I never got away with is though because I would wake up to my book and my glasses resting on my night stand. My mom would always come in my room, remove my glasses off my face and close my book in the middle of the night. I also used to get in trouble with my parents for reading in church and with my teachers for reading in class. I had a bad a reading addiction as a kid, especially for Harry Potter. Still do.”
Emily: “Earlier this year I was on a plane reading A Little Life just before take off. A woman came and sat down next to me and we realized we were reading the same book! We talked about our respective place in the story for a while but once we were up in the air we both got down to business. I hit a really emotional part of the book and started sobbing uncontrollably. My seat partner was some 100 pages behind me and, as I was crying, frantically trying to read ahead to understand the upset. When she finally caught up to me she started crying too. Neither of us wanted to talk about what happened in the book. It was a very emotional flight for 21 A and B.”
Will: “One of my favorite things to do as a young reader was scare the crap out of myself. From the ages of maybe 8-11, I tore through the majority of Darren Shan‘s books, which were defined by unrelenting gore and ghastly creatures. One night I was reading one of his newer books, and I stumbled upon a passage that is too brutal to describe. I decided to call it quits at that point, but naturally I couldn’t fall asleep. So I ventured downstairs to tell my Dad. After spending some time with him, I thought the fear would have worn off, but upon returning to bed, I found I was still too disturbed to fall asleep. In an act of paternal heroism, my Dad spent the rest of the night reading outside my door, with the hallway lights on. It was established from that point on, that this was the protocol if ever I freaked myself out too badly. Naturally, this didn’t keep me from reading horror.”
“Earlier this summer, I was sitting on the subway reading Robert Reich’s Saving Capitalism when I saw a beautiful girl sitting across from me reading the same book. She noticed me and we got talking for a few minutes before I had to get off.”
“Me and a girlfriend read the book The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk. While the novel turns its eye to a number of historical and social mores, it largely follows Kemal, a young Turkish man that consoles himself after the demise of a clandestine, class-crossing love affair by collecting artifacts from their blissful time together. One day, months later, she surprised me with a visit to Istanbul, where most of the story takes place. Pamuk had arranged for the titular museum Kemal creates to be constructed in the same neighborhood where the character’s apartment resided. Anyone with a copy of the book received free entrance, stamping inside the passage where Kemal invites his readers to visit the museum. All of the objects in the book are on display, just as he amasses and describes them. It was dreamlike – I’ve never interacted with a fictional story so deeply. I also stole a book of hymns from my college’s church once. Anyway, books are magical.”
“One of my favorite reading moments happened to me when I was about 12-13 years old. I was reading a book from the Redwall series and there was one particular scene that had an impact on me. There were 3 main characters walking through a forest. One of them was a child who was being escorted to another part of the fictional land by foot. Suddenly an entire army appear in front of them. By the time they realized what was happening they were completely surrounded. The two escorts took a moment to discuss the gravity of the mistake they made and finally decided to fight to the death. As the army approached, one of the characters handed a sword to the child. He told him that he was sorry and that he had to do his best to kill as many as possible. I was so overcome with emotion during that scene. It was a major turning point for me because I realized that reading can be just as enthralling and dramatic as any movie or video game. That scene helped me fall in love with reading and I will always be grateful for that.”
Featured image courtesy of http://etsy.me/2awASjl.