Sunday, July 7, 2013

Ticket to Ride ... When I Read ...

I have a book that fascinates me. I want to devour it. But ... at the same time ... I don't want to read it too fast. Instead, I savor each and every morsel and digest both the hidden and direct messages. From the very first words of the very first sentence, I was drawn in.

It takes place in Africa -- a place that has long held me in its thrall. When I read it, I'm there. Walking the plains. Feeling the long grass. Watching the golden sunrise sink into the lake in a burst of red fire. Smoothing the red dust from my skin. Climbing onto the veranda and gazing out into the landscape stretching out warm and wild before me.

In the book, I can become the heroine ... be she innocent or femme fatale. I can imagine the supporting cast and picture unique and familiar faces in the roles written for them. It becomes very personal as I journey into the pages. The real world fades around me.

The landscape and setting of this particular book captivates me ... drawing me deeper and deeper into the pages. There are times I'm convinced that I'll just disappear into a book someday. That my children will walk out onto the sun-porch looking for me but find only an open book where I once sat.

I'm grateful that a book can take me on an adventure ... on a journey that I've long wanted to take. Not every book can do that, but there are some that truly transport me. The images in my mind are strong ... the book seems to call my name and beckon me to open its pages. To return to it.

I've heard it said that a book can be a Passport to people, places, ideas and experiences. New ones. Familiar ones. Characters on the pages become friends that beckon me to follow them. Quotes from characters litter the pages of my journal and influence conversations and essays. Become fuel for my curious and busy mind. Books are inviting, using nothing but my mind as the transportation device, exercising my imagination and senses. For a few dollars -- or with a waive of my Library Card -- I discover myself taking the most magnificent journeys ... experiencing fascinating and magical places.

Movies can't do that. TV shows can't do that. Those mediums specifically show me how to imagine something. Define the character visually. Tell me what he or she sounds like. My imagination takes a holiday.

But with my book, I imagine the scenery with only the words as the catalyst. With my book, I pack up only the people or items I wish -- or leave them all behind -- and experience Africa.
Wanna go with me? ... pick up a book. I'll find you ...
                                                                                                                        -- Jenni