Dreaming the day away, as I am often found doing, I began to contemplate a scenario:
If I were told I could read only 7 books for the rest of my life — as many times as I wanted — which 7 would I choose?
As someone who reads with the same voracity as breathing, I quickly dismissed the challenge, deciding I could never ask this of myself. Oh, but the question gnawed on me. I am a glutton for these kind of chimerical, purposeless inquiries, and can be rather ruthless in garnering an answer. If you had three wishes . . . ? Body hair: inability to grow any, or inability to keep it from growing at an unmanageable rate? Booger smoothie or beetle omelet? Extra large feet or itty-bitty hands?
I could go on and on like this for a while . . .
While the odds of my being confined to the same 7 books for the rest of my life carries all the likelihood of my growing a second set of armpits, I decided I would force myself to answer — just to see if I could do it.
I did. It was actually much easier than I thought it would be.
The next part of the challenge was to see if I could write one sentence, describing why I had chosen each book. This was not at all easier than I thought it would be. Starting from the bottom and moving up:
(Side note: and this doesn’t count as part of my sentence. The book I wanted to put in the picture was Outlander, but I’ve loaned it to a friend. This is the second book in a series of 7. Highly recommended!)
1) Diana Gabbaldon writes intelligently, passionately, and with the restraint of a Kansas tornado, sucking her reader into 18th century Scottland, where the lives and characters of those you meet come to mean as much as those living in your home.
2) The bible is both my map and my compass.
3) A refreshingly pleasant dose of superfluous information, this book answers mysteries such as, Which bird lays the smallest egg for its size? and How long can a chicken live without its head? making it both humorous and informative — my two favorite methods of learning.
4) Besty Lerner’s The Forrest for the Trees remains to be my most beloved writing tool because she very practically, firmly, and honestly delves into every writer’s deepest fear: Am I good enough?
5) Whether you hail C.S. Lewis as one the most profound theologians and philosophers of our time, or regard him as just another zealously religious nutball, there is no arguing the fine mind, perspective, and wisdom this man acclaims.
6) You’ll find some of what Simon Hertnon has to say over in Mr. Webster’s neighborhood, but not all, for tucked inside this little treasure of a book are some of the coolest words I have ever had the privilege of learning, including anacampserote, chavish, and elzoable.
Did you notice there were only six pictures in the photo? I have one last picture to show you.
It is a book of sorts, I suppose; it’s my book — my journal, where I keep all those disjointed crumbs of ideas, with the hope that one day they might become more, and bloom into a story worth sharing with you.
Okay, now it is time for me to pass on the challenge to you:
If you were told you could read only 7 books for the rest of your life — as many times as you wanted — which 7 would you choose?
If you happen not to be a advocate of the literary, pick something else: Foods, destinations, imagery, shoes, music — whatever! It’s a very easy blog, and I honestly had a lot fun doing it. This was a good exercise for me, and I imagine it will be for you, too. I found it quite telling in terms of who I am.
Happy Saturday, everyone.