TO ALL THE BOOKS I’VE READ…

The sensation of turning pages (read as flipping ebooks on a screen), falling in love, being terrified, feeling secondhand shame, embodying the characters, the villain, the hero, (they are, after all one in the same as I’ve come to learn).

It’s 00:05 in the night (or morning if you may) and I just finalised one of those books, The kind you pray you never forget that somehow despite memory withering you’ll at least hold the lessons at heart but I’ve heard this sensation before, and the human brain is fickle, what is important at midnight may just be a faded buzz by 8:00am and so I write.

Thanking all the authors that put these beautiful words to paper, that make a book feel like home, that leave us eager and horrified to turn pages, afraid of the ending or that a good story comes to an end after all. That remind us to hold mirrors to our souls recognising tidbits of ourselves in the characters, reminding us that we’re human prone to not only building up but also utter destruction; that feeling and being is okay.

I do not remember the first time I let myself feel, truly utterly feel, the good, the beautiful and the others we prefer to pretend away. But I remember my first “real” book (The Naughty Amelia Jane doesn’t count, sorry). My first love was “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, my first lesson in the fact that books invoke emotion, rage disbelief. Oh how I judged the actions of the characters I disapproved, invoking a sense of self righteousness deep within me, making me judge, juror and executioner for the villains in most of the other books devoured for years to come thereafter.

I don’t know when exactly, but with time the judgements were softer, the need to empathise stronger. Maybe it’s after making and living through my more questionable life choices, a “jar” of broken hearts trailing behind my not-so-many years of existence, that I’ve become more accomodating. I understand and sometimes glimpse myself in the “bad” ones, the ones who seem heartless and selfish. I’ve lived that story and oh the things fear, brokenness and naivete can make you do, it’s no excuse, just life. So with the “experience” under my belt, I cry for the good and the terrible, rich and poor, I hold dear the faces, names and characters brought to life with movement of pen or keystrokes and I am thankful for the reminder that we are all human, and that’s okay.

I have so many unfinished books to go, authors to discover, lessons to learn and oh so much growing to do and until next time, I’ll be out trying to embody the bravery, kindness and the good parts of the presently blurry characters and hopefully living the kind of life whose pages may inspire someone to be better.

Always, Christine.

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