Tuesday, July 23, 2013

When You Love a Book (Part 2)

It stays with you.

The characters stay with you.

When you love a book it has the potential to imbue into your DNA.

There are moments when I’m tucking my kids in bed when I swear I hear Holden say something about the gold ring at the carousel. Or other moments when he coughs and says, “Phonies” under his breath.

And then there are times of breaking vulnerability when Little Bee reminds me that my scars mean 
I’ve survived.

Every so often when I’m admiring my neighbor’s green thumb, Victoria Jones will whisper the names of the flowers to me and if I’m real quiet, their meanings.

These are the treasured takeaways of books. Their gift to me…these lingering characters. These powerful messages translated in my life.

It’s what I strive for as a writer—to create characters who leap from the pages of my work into the lives of my readers.

It’s what makes reading a book a multilayered experience. Because as I’m reading I wonder if I’ll meet the characters again at another intersection, foot of a bed, or flower bed.

I know when I get to the last page of a book and read the words The End not to take those words to heart. Incredible reads don’t end.

Good books live on inside us.

Have you ever loved a book so much the characters are still with you?


*photo from Rachel lone Johnson
**Teaser: You won't want to miss my post next week!

6 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, yes! With some books, it's the story itself that stays with me but I can't remember specifics about the characters. With others, it's all about the character, even if I don't remember all that happens in their stories! Mostly the characters that are still with me are from books I've read not once but many, many times. Anne and Gilbert and Marilla (Anne of Green Gables), Valancy and Webster (The Blue Castle), Lucy and Josh (The Train to Estelline), Scarlett and Melanie and Rhett (Gone with the WInd), Jo, Meg, Amy, Beth (Little Women), Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice), Emma (Emma), Mary Lennox (The Secret Garden)--ok I could go on and on and on!! Because I've lived so long with these great characters, I love creating characters that i hope leap off the page and live in a reader's imagination for a long time.

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    1. Okay, I just love how many you listed! That is my point. They all jump inside us and swim around our thoughts and our day to day routines. I'm so glad you could relate to this!

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  2. They stick with us because they are so real. Scout and Atticus Finch, Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird. All the characters in Mama Day by Gloria Naylor. (A must read if you have not!) Janie Crawford from Their Eyes were Watching God. Like Anne, these are the books that I read over and over again.

    Great post.

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    1. Thanks CJ! Excellent mention. I find myself thinking about Boo and Scout and Atticus as well. I plan to look up Mama Day today. Thanks for the rec. I've always wanted to be one of those people to read a book over and over but there are few I do that with.

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  3. Sure! Connie Shak Lin from Nevil Shute's "Round the Bend", Don Shimoda from Richard Bach's "Illusions", Father Larry from Andrew Greeley's "The Cardinal Virtues"...

    And let's not forget the real people we've met in histories and memoirs. They're still 'characters', coming to life from a page.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/

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    1. Great point about histories and memoirs. Memoir is one of my favorite genres to read. You just gave me a new list of books to check out. :)

      Thanks for swinging by with your favorites.

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