Friday, January 28, 2011

Literary Lessons

Today I was working on an entry for a local contest sponsored by the Friends of the Library. The theme of the annual contest is usually about a book that's chosen for discussion. This year they branched out and are allowing entries to talk about themes, like lessons from grandparents and reactions from a close death in the family.

I'd written something a year or so ago for a submission that fit the requirement. But I wasn't sure it got to the heart of the issues, and it didn't seem to have bite. That certain something that catches attention and makes reading my entry worth the time. It was sweet, had meaning and painted a nice picture. So...I decided to do something else. It has grit, maybe to the point of being overly attention grabbing. It is honest, truthful and in first person. It got me thinking...

I usually always have some type of book around, at the beach, at work, in the car. I had a book with me when I spent time at the hospital with my dad, my grandmother, my grandfather and mother. All those times I used the story to get away. Not necessarily from the moment, but to pass the time spent in waiting areas for hours on end. It gave me a way to escape from my set of issues.

What was I reading? When my grandfather was in a coma I was still in college and reading about an artist for a class report. When I was trading places to watch over my grandmother I had a Harelquin Romance. During my mom's surgery I had a comedic single title.

I've also learned many lessons from characters in books, and not just how romance worked :0) I learned about family dynamics, how strong women could be, and how it felt to visit places beyond my little town (when I was addicted to Harelquin Presents for example). I've read about working in Manhattan, riding a motorcycle, making a Molotov cocktail, surviving in militant cities, running a ranch in the Old West, not to mention a very detailed romance about training for the Olympics.

Now I'm curious. Where have you taken a book and what have you learned?

1 comment:

Lil said...

I take a book with me everywhere I go. There is bound to be one in my purse when I go out. It is also something that I would take with me no matter where I travelled. In some countries finding English books was difficult. I had Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters with me while I was trekking in Sapa, to visit the Mountain/Hill Tribes in Northern Vietnam. It was an old favorite and reminded me to not be condescending to the local population. The situation is great reading in a book but not a great way to act when travelling. Love that particular romance.