When That Book Finds You
I love to read. I’ve liked stories from a very young age. My mom would play audiobooks for me, and I’d listen to them over and over until I memorized every word. Later on, I learned to read, and a new world opened up to me. I fell in love with words. Every Saturday morning, my dad would go to the newsstand, and he’d bring me comic books: Little Lulu, Archie, and the original Mexican series Memín Pinguín (a bitter-sweet story of a poor Afro-Mexican boy, that today would’ve probably been diagnosed with ADHD, in Mexico City – really, Dad?).
Anyway, I didn’t love reading comic books exclusively I was crazy about all kinds of books. The Choose Your Own Adventure series and the Hawkeye Collins and Amy Adams novels were my favorite. Then I discovered poetry through my brothers’ literature books from Middle School; I couldn’t get enough of it. When my parents went out on their routinely date night, I would stay up reading until my eyelids closed involuntarily.
In my teenage years, I continued reading books but mainly for school. Some books I liked, others I didn’t, some I’d get the abridged version or others I didn’t even open them and when I had to write a book report I’d convinced my nerdy friend to give me her “abridged version” (this was our Google, back in the day – sorry, Mom). Until it found me: that book. I’ve fallen in love with words and stories before, but this was different. It was finding the one. That book that you rush home to read. That book that makes you stay up late. That book that you daydream about. That book that you can read over and over and every time you read a different version. That book that makes you want to become a writer. That book that changes your life: Niebla, by Miguel de Unamuno,was mine (translated into English as Mist). A little dark and melancholic, but so original and fascinating. As I am writing this, I realize that I haven’t read it in a long time and that I don’t even have a copy here in Los Angeles. I wonder if I were to read it now what would my experience be?
After that, other books came and left a mark, some broke my heart, others made evoke a particular time in my life, some characters exasperated me, others inspired me. Sometimes I am so immerse in a story, that I miss certain characters after I finish it: Lisbeth Salander and Theo Decker, from The Millenium Trilogy and The Goldfinch, respectively. Sigh. I started mourning them as soon as I finished reading the last page.
As you will read in my future posts, I enjoy reading almost every genre. Chick-lit, as they call it brought me back into reading when I had a “drought” after having my babies – times when your friends talk about books and you cannot imagine reading more than two sentences before falling asleep or when you’re so mentally drained that all you can do with your free time is watch reruns on TV. More about this soon.
I am curious to know about your experience. Has that book found you yet? Have you read it lately? I’d love to know. Keep me posted.