When I was a little girl, I had a hardbound copy of Black Beauty. I read it cover to cover, and when I finished it, I started over. I must have re-read that book twenty or thirty times over the next few weeks. I loved it so much, I wasn’t ready to let it go. I don’t know what happened to that little blue hardbound book, but I have a new one now, and can’t wait to share it with my own children.
In middle school, I fell in love again, this time with Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “The Firebrand.” I read and re-read until the spine cracked and the pages were loose. I still have that battered book on my shelf here in my office.
In high school, it was Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game.” I’m on my fourth paperback copy now. When I did my study abroad in college, I realized on the plane that I had forgotten my copy. So, upon arrival in Paris, I marched down to the nearest bookstore and picked up a copy in french so I wouldn’t be without it. (the french title is Le Strategie Ender)
More recently, I read Audrey Niffenegger’s “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and it had a similar effect. I’m now on my second copy of that book, having read and re-read the first to tatters.
Every book I read between these touches me somehow, but some of them have the emotional impact of a friendly person at the grocery check-out. We become familiar, they say hi and remember my kids, but we aren’t smitten with each other.
The great literary love affairs suck all the air out of the room until I’m dizzy with it and can’t get enough. Until I’ve bitten down my nails to ragged stubs and chewed my bottom lip half off. So I guess when it comes to my books, I’m a romantic, always looking for my next great love, but happy to make lots of friends along the way.