I love reading. I have books all around our place, books that i’ve read, books that i’m currently reading or books that i intent on reading. I always said that if i could build my dream house, i would put a library in it. Since i don’t own a million books (yet!) i have them sprawled throughout the house. In my room, in my living rooms, everything but the kitchen or any of the bathrooms although sometimes i’ll leave some laying around there as well. All of this to say that i absolutely love to read.
I used to be very snobbish towards books. I hated that people could just simply give me a book as a gift because they just gave whatever was on the top list that week so i would end up with a book that had nothing to do with either my interests or my likes. This one year, for christmas, my wife’s mother gave me “Twilight”. She justified by saying that the sales lady said it was the new Da Vinci Code (WHAT??!!). She knew i had read that so she thought it was a good gift for me. I couldn’t trade it because i always had the feeling she would ask me about it so i had to read it just in case. I had no idea there were four of them and once i read the first one, i had to buy the other three. I NEEDED CLOSURE ! She also gave me my first Haruki Murakami which balances things out a bit.
Now, i really don’t mind people giving me books. As long as the books seem the least interesting, i’ll read them. I usually read 2, maybe 3 at the time. It takes a awhile to finish but i find it easier to let go of that world once i’m finished with them. I’ll read poetry (which i’m starting to love to read but i do have a thing against this new brand of instagram poets), classics (my favorite of all time is a classic), you name it, i might read it.
But i never gave too much thought to the gesture of giving a book. Until recently. I was given a book, a book that apparently reminded the person of me. I’m currently reading it and it is very interesting. But this person (i’m trying to be gender-neutral as she/he would hate being part of my ramblings) had a perfectly great explanation. As per her/him:
“I decided to give a little bit of myself, the book was just collateral damage.”
Then i got it. I understood why you just don’t give books to people. Not books that you’ve never read and certainly to someone you don’t care much for. And that’s the beauty of books as i understand it now. A book is no longer a book, it’s part of you. When you present it to someone else, it’s part of you you’re giving away. And that is more than anyone can ask, let alone get. A favorite author of mine said:
A book is a dream you hold in your hands.
Because in the end, we’ll all become stories. Thank you for the gift. And the book too.