It’s that time again, my lovelies! The third Saturday of each month wherein I ask a [strictly] reader to come and share his or her thoughts. (Well, okay, so authors are welcome too, but space is solely for those with only their reader hats firmly on.) Ms. Bella is also a lifesaver, as she stepped in. I loved this post and her thoughts. I also can’t wait to hear your responses to her questions!
“In Western Civilization, our elders are books.”―Gary Snyder
Every now and then something inexplicable happens to me and it seems like the universe is trying to speak to me through others. It’s a very Oprah thing to think, I know. But lately I can’t help but feel that the universe conspires to speak to us with little coincidences that happen in ways that statistically make them much more than coincidence. This is mystifying yet wondrous to me because I’m not one who believes in fate, lol!
One of the main ways I experience this phenomenon is through random books that seemingly fall in my lap. Sometimes just the right book lands in my hands for reading at just the right time. It’s more than serendipity because it’s more than just finding an enjoyable book or a fun new series. It is more of a synchronicity that happens, just when I need it most in my life. It feels like a sort of connection happens more than just a coincidence.
I once read somewhere that books are powerful because they are people talking to mass audiences not only in different places but also in different times, able to reach out to future generations and to people other mediums aren’t capable of reaching. I think about this when I read a book that particularly moves me or challenges me in ways I hadn’t expected. When I feel a personal paradigm shift occurring from simply reading a book (a technology that is centuries old!), I marvel at how amazing it is that reading and the process of internalizing the story can impact me so much.
Even more impressive to me is that the majority of the stories that do this to me most are fiction. I think it’s common to think fiction is just for fun but I find that, for me, it’s often more transformative than anything nonfiction I’ve ever read. The biggest surprise was when I began reading romance novels in 2008 and I realized they were some of the most life-altering reads for me. Pretty good for a genre often dismissed as trashy, superficial, and of no literary value, huh?
There have been a lot of books in my life. All made their mark on me and in some way added to the person I am now. But among them all there are outliers; books that stand out because they seemingly came from out of nowhere, weren’t on my radar at all, and yet somehow find me and get me to read them at just the exact time when they are capable of meaning so much to me. I most recently experienced this with a book called Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. It was a book I’d heard great things about when it released but I wasn’t really planning on reading it. Then I won a copy and was asked to discuss it with a book club! It has turned out to be a favorite for me, and the writing was so good it had me thinking about all kinds of aspects of my life in different ways.
So how about y’all: Any books in your life ever seem to be kismet for you? Does it happen to you often, do you have just a few outliers, or is it something that hasn’t happened to you in your reading life? What was the last book that seemed like the universe sent it to you just when you needed it most?