Reading a Book in the Midst of Everything

I just posted this over at jameystegmaier.com and thought it was relevant to the Blank Slate Press crowd too.

When you were younger, did you ever find yourself so wrapped up in a book that the rest of the world melted away? Maybe that happens to you as an adult too, but I feel like we read in socially acceptable places now, even in public: coffee shops, the park, cafes. When I was younger, I could be walking through a crowd of people at Disney World, and would be considerably more aware of the world Roald Dahl created on the page than the actual world around me.

Kudos to books, because this is awesome.

I thought of this because I went to the Cardinals game the other day and saw something I hadn’t seen in a while. These days I see kids playing on their parents’ iPhones or the Nintendo DS’s. Rarely do I see a kid get as wrapped up in a book as I used to. But I know it happens, because young adult fiction is hugely successful right now.

As I walked to my seat at the game, I noticed a young girl–maybe 11 or 12–completely engrossed in a book. The game had started (Cubs/Cards; she was wearing a Cubs uniform), but she didn’t care. I craned my neck to see what book could compel a kid to read instead of watch the game, but I couldn’t see the cover.

She didn’t read for the entire game, but now and then she’d pull out the book. I know what it’s like to not be able to put a book down. It actually feels…good. Other forms of media don’t have that effect. (Okay, maybe True Blood.)

What’s the last book that you got so wrapped up in that the rest of the world melted away?

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2 Comments on “Reading a Book in the Midst of Everything”

  1. Richard Thomas Says:

    OH man, so many. I do book reviews over at TNB and I’d say that all of the books I reviewed there, did that to me.

    http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/author/rthomas/

    But typically it has to be a novel. I JUST finished FOLLOW ME DOWN by Kio Stark, and that was a book that really haunted me, kept me wanting to reach for it no matter what I was doing. Red Lemonade is doing some great things. Growing up it was Stephen King, any of the long books, IT, or THE STAND, they sucked me in and it was a feverish desire to get back to the book no matter what I was doing. Great post.

  2. Toby Dorr Says:

    i just read an awesome book in less than 24 hours, maybe even less than 12. I picked it up on a whim at the library and fell in love from the opening paragraph! The words paint the most beautiful pictures – almost like poetry.

    “Was it possible for a friend’s generous opinion of you to take root and sprout like strong stalks in Alabama red clay?”

    “She forged ahead while bits and pieces of herself flew off and scattered like confetti on the trail blazed by Titus Jones.”

    The Tender Mercy of Roses by Anna Michaels


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