“Because by now Elinor understood this, too: A longing for books was nothing compared with what you could feel for human beings. The books told you about that feeling. The books spoke of love, and it was wonderful to listen to them, but they were no substitute for love itself.” Cornelia Funke Inkdeath
I have had a love of books and reading since I was a child. I remember listening intently as my mother read us such books as The Chronicles of Narnia, and Little House on the Prairie. The first book I learned to read was Hop On Pop.Thus, my mother is responsible for infecting me with the book geek virus.
Ever since then, the written word has been a source of magic to me. It takes me to worlds both known and unknown, introduces me to characters both familiar and unfamiliar, and feeds me knowledge and dreams. Many people call reading a form of escapism, and I guess that’s true, especially for me. I have hidden inside the stories of many books, inserting myself into lives that seemed much more exciting than my own. That’s the magic of the written word, it pulls you into a story that’s not your own. Just turn a page and you can become a wizard, a dragon rider, a fire breather, a hobbit, or anything else your imagination can make you.
Lately though, I have been thinking that I spend too much time in a world not my own. Right now, my life seems stuck in a very boring holding pattern. I have no job, not many friends nearby, and I constantly long to be in another place. I want to be in Scotland, with my boyfriend, Murray, and my others friends there. I feel this longing in my heart that never goes away. Even the magic of the written word can’t banish it for long. I can disappear into another world, but my heart calls me back.
I think that’s what Elinor has come to realize in the quote above. Books can take you anywhere you want to go, make you anything you want to become, but they can’t replace human beings. A book cannot hold my hand, it can’t kiss my lips, or look at me as though I’m the only woman in the world. Books are my friends, yes, but they can’t talk to me, they can’t include me in activities, or give me a shoulder to cry on when I need it. A book can describe love, but it can’t give to you.
I love my books, they are a comfort to me. You can look at my bookshelf and tell which ones are my favorites because they’re falling apart as a result of being read so much. As much as I value my books, I value the people in my life even more. I’ve always loved my family, but now I know a different kind of love. I’ve read so many books that talk about true love, but nothing I’ve read compares with the real feeling.
I know I’ve probably rambled a bit here, but that’s what blogs are for, rambling. I’m a dreamer, I always have been. I’ve imagined myself in countless stories created by others, so often ignoring my own story. Now, as I look at my life, I see an exciting story that’s still unfolding. How it will unfold is anybody’s guess. How I live it, and react to the events that come my way is my choice. After all, who writes the stories of our lives if not us? I know people say God does, and I believe He does have a plan for everyone, but we make our own choices, we determine our own attitudes, and we create our own characters.
I encourage everyone to read, and want everyone to love it as I do. That’s why I’m studying to be a librarian, because I’m at home among books, and want to spread their magic to others. All the same, I must remember not to lose myself so completely in another’s story that I ignore my own. You all remember that too, readers. Books are not substitutes for humans, reach out and love those around you with the power that only real people can.