Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Love Affair With A Book

I don't think there is any other way to describe how I feel when I find a great book.. And I just finished one : Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns. I listened to it in my car, on my way to and from work. I knew I wanted to read it it years ago, after I read The Kite Runner (also excellent). But The Kite Runner's story was so sad, I wasn't quite ready for more such sorrow right away. So it had been on my reading list when, a few weeks ago, it stared at me on the library shelf. I was ready for our date! And it was love at first listen.. I fell head over heels for Hosseini's beautiful writing, his insight into people's most inner feelings, together with a dramatic storyline, characters you love and want to protect from their terrifying destinies, and with Afghanistan as a backdrop. Although, truly, Afghanistan is more than a backdrop, it's another protagonist, with a destiny just as tragic as the story's women, a land mistreated by brutal men who use religion as an excuse for their horrific crimes.

Anyway, just like in a passionate relationship, when I listened, I always wanted more. When I wasn't listening to the book, I was thinking about it, longing for the next time I could listen.
And then came the end, the end of the book, and the end of the affair. It leaves me with a bittersweet feeling. I am thankful for the amazing time I spent with the book, but terribly sad that it's over, that I am not going to find Laila and Mariam next time I drive to work. And like with a relationship, I know there will be others, I know I'll love again, but right now I'm not sure I'll be able to find another book that can move me so deeply, maybe I am not ready yet. I might listen to a mindless read next, a "rebound book" of sorts. In the meantime, I am still thinking about this one and missing our time together.

Do you fall in love with books? Any suggestions on what I might listen to next (mindless or not)?

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