“Oh, you’re welcome. What did you think of that scene in the living room? You know. The one I told you about.”
“Oh, that one! Gosh, that was so intense! And the way the author described the blue carpet really made me feel like Jen and her mom were drowning from their different points of view.”
“Yeah. The blue carpet underneath the two sofas they’re sitting on, separating them like an ocean.”
“The carpet was blue?”
“Yeah! Didn’t you—”
“Didn’t you think the open window was an amazing allegory for what their relationship becomes?”
“The window was open?”
Okay, pause. Because I could write this conversation all day long. And no one here wants to read that go-back-and-forth. I was trying to make a point. I was trying to be clever in illustrating a point. But I didn’t do anything more than confuse you and cause you to wonder why you’re reading this blog post.
Let me start over. We’ve all read some of the same books. Whether it was books we read in school or books recommended to us by friends or the online book community. At some point, you picked up a book because So-and-So on GoodBookFaceReads told you it was an “uh-maz-ing” read.
So, you read it.
But it wasn’t amazing.
Or, and come with me here, you picked up a book because the cover was pretty, read the back synopsis, and decided it might be worth your time. Except you went on GoodBookFaceReads and sampled the comments section. And people hated it. Couldn’t stop complaining about it. But the cover was so lovely, and the plot seemed so nifty, you held your breath and dove in.
And you loved it. Loved that character everyone and their mother couldn’t stand. You adored the way the author wove her tale. This book is going down on your imaginary (or real) list of Tippy-Top Books.
I haven’t exactly made my point yet. You still with me?
The point I’m wandering my way into is that we all don’t read the same book. Your perspective on a piece of fiction is influenced by a myriad of things. Your upbringing, your current quality of life, your outlook on a bazillion things. And the person who reads the same book you did is affected by all those same things. Except those same things are different from yours because none of us are living the same life.
And that’s beautiful.
What you read and what the author wrote are probably far apart. Yet, therein lies the wonder of books. It’s like a new day for everyone who turns to page one. There aren’t many things like that in this world.
Should there be? I rather think not. It ruins the awe.
And, sure, we could delve into a different conversation here about whether the color red I see is the same color red you see, or how maybe what I’m suggesting teeters on the verge of nihilism.
Back the truck up.
I’m saying it’s lovely. It’s a gift. It allows the same set of words to take on new variations every time those words are read. And who is it more of a gift for? The author or the reader? I don’t know. But that makes it even more special.
I’ll go so far as to say that this “newness” can happen when you read a book for a second, third, fourth, or fifth time. You’ll find something new. A line of description will strike you differently. Why? Because you aren’t reading it with the same eyes as you were the first time. You’re not there now.
Is this a conversation tipping around philosophy? That a book can be the same and new at the simultaneously? I’ll say it’s not. But I will say that it’s indescribable and I only know of one place the indescribable comes.
Look up, dear reader. Look Up.
|Author and Dance Instructor|
Bree Lewandowski is married and has 4 fur babies. She teaches dance when she isn't writing. Coffee is her passion. "Coffee spurns my writing. Coffee is wonderful." She eats noodles like they're vegetables, she can't swim, and thinks writing bios is weird. To connect with Bree, please visit her HERE .