Monday, March 21, 2011

Attached to Books

My plane landed late last night. After days of spending time with my mom I realize we speak a unique language, the language of books. One day we spent over an hour in the sun reading first lines of her books together. My mom and I are able to talk about pretty much anything, but when we conversed in the language of books it was as though we were able to simultaneously transcend our current realities while intermingling them with the characters we know or ones we’ve yet to meet.

Take Little Bee for example. My mom has read this book. I began it several days ago. One morning I caught myself so moved by the book, on the verge of tears as I anxiously waited when my mom would wake so we could discuss it, so I could read her the lines that jumped out at me.

We spoke about books and through them. Books flavor my life in an extraordinary way.

It didn’t take the dozens of times my eyes gravitated to books and Kindles on laps of people at the airport to tell me this or the how I slowed my pace every time I passed a bookstore. I already knew it. I’m attached to books, the language of them, the messages in them, and the characters born amidst the pages.

Here is one of the paragraphs from Little Bee I couldn’t wait to share with my mom:

On the girl’s brown legs there were many small white scars. I was thinking, Do those scars cover the whole of you, like the stars and moons on your dress? I thought that would be pretty too, and I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.”

I’m probably addicted to books. And because of sentences like the above that might not ever change. What about you, are you attached to books?

*I wrote this on the fly, so excuse spelling or grammatical errors. In fact, I’m still sleeping as I write this.
**It’s good to be back.
***photo by flickr


  1. I am. I love books. :) So glad you had a good visit with your Mom!

  2. Oh my...yes! Sometimes too attached. I multi-task to find a "valid" excuse to read.
    (I love to make pudding because all that stirring at the stove means I have an extra hand to hold a book! Needless to say there's always plenty of pudding around my house.) ;)

  3. That quote makes me want to read it- I am with you girl. Words make my heart move like nothing else!

  4. How neat that you and your mom enjoyed such a good time together, Wendy, and that she shares your passion for books. I can't wait until the one she's holding in her hands is YOURS.

  5. I share Keli's thought--it must be really a blessing to have that kind of bond with your mom. I'm glad you're back safely!

  6. I've loved books since middle school. I craved the adventure of being plucked from reality live someone else's experiences- good and bad! Thrilling:)

    Glad you had a wonderful trip! When your Mom holds your words I know she will melt the same way you did over Little Bees.

  7. Through the years books have been my best friends. I don't think I could have gotten through adolescence without them.

  8. That's such a neat thing to share with your mom. My mom and I speak in movie quotes often. :)

    I'm definitely attached to books, and I love getting emotionally pulled into a story.

  9. That's so wonderful that you can share your love of books with your mom! How I wish it were true in my own life! And is that your mom in the picture? I think that's a lovely depiction of her. =)

  10. Whoa. Dude. Just based on that excerpt I want to read this book!! I would sit and talk books with you Wendy. Wish I could.

    How you doin', girl? Been thinking about you. :)

  11. Glad you made it home safe and sound. Travel sure is exhausting! But at least it allows for lots of extra reading time...unless of course you're flying with kids. :)

    I missed reading your blog last week. Glad you're back!

  12. Of course! I'm your reading addicted sister, Wendy! How beautiful that you and your mother share this bond. And the quote gave me goosebumps. Did you finish the book yet?

  13. What a sweet bond you have with your mom.
    My husband and I are so very hooked on books. I have catalogued over 1,500 of my books and still have shelves to enter. I have not read all of them, and I keep buying more.
    My husband has over 2,000 catalogued. Yes, books take up a lot of space in our home. It is hard for us to get rid of them, they are like old friends. Yes, we do go back and re-read.
    Who knows maybe sometime we can open a book store.

  14. Oh yes, I love books! It makes me smile that you and your mom have such a special relationship. And to have someone who shares your same love of books? Invaluable. Welcome back :)

  15. What a beautiful exerpt from a book. Makes me want to get that book right now!

  16. Karen, It was so meaningful to be with her. I love books, too. Hard to communicate to those who don't, but so cool to find others who do.

    Heidi, Nice! I don't think I've ever made pudding. I used to breastfeed, pluck my eyebrows, and read at the same time. I thought I had skills. I like cooking and reading. Wonder if certain paragraphs make the food taste better when you sample it.

    Jennie, So dang powerful words are. The writing in this book is some of the most profound I've come across in quite some time.

    Keli, I can't wait for that day, too. I love spending time with my mom. I keep the ornament you sent over my sink and it encourages me often.

    Rosslyn, She's truly one of my closest friends and after all we've been through in our family it is a true, true blessing!

    Tamika, Oh that would be cool! Will miss you this week. Enjoy your Daddy time.

    Patti, Books & dogs, I tell ya! I. Tell. Ya!

    Kristin, I don't cry all that often while reading a book, but this one got me. It's excellent. Now you've got me wondering comedy or dramas? Austin Powers of James Bond?

    T., Not my mom, but she plays one on my blog. I think the picture symbolized how both me & my mom feel about books. Ah.

    Katie, I feel refreshed and blessed with a sharp perspective. Thanks for asking. I was thinking I'd tell you more about this book b/c I know you are always on the hunt. Will call soon. How are you?????

    Lacie, I didn't know how the time would play out, how many memories would slam me, etc. but it proved to be a wonderful trip and yes, the flights were great for reading.

    Thank you for your comment. Words like that mean a lot to me!!!

    Jill, I'm about halfway in and am still stirred by the writing. Oh so good! How's it goin', sis? ;)

    Diane, One of my dreams--one a bookstore! And whoa, those are some huge numbers. Do you retain a lot of what you read? Wondering what kinds your favorites are? Do you buy used or new? Okay, I'll stop firing away questions (for now).

    Cindy, Thanks to you! Thanks for all of your support. And my relationship w/ my mom rocks. Thanking God.

    Heather, Get the book. Some lines are all caught up inside me. I really think they'll stay there forever. It is very much my kind of book.

    Must say I'm thankful you all swung by and said hello today. Getting back into a groove after being away for a few days. Doing mountains of laundry, planning a menu, yada yada.

    My DDs entertained me tonight by doing a dance off to YMCA, Hoedown Throw Down, Party in the USA and other such songs as Star Wars characters. Jar Jar Binks was my fav.

    Life is good.
    We are here. Let's make it count.
    ~ Wendy

  17. Hi Wendy -

    Little Bee is going on my Wish List!

    I'm not just attached to books, they're in my DNA. As a child, I insisted on a bookcase headboard for "my library."

    Susan :)

  18. Attached is not the word. How about addicted. I have them lying all over, I buy and haven't had time to read them all. But just the words surrounding my house makes me cozy. :)


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