Spend about thirty seconds with me, and you’ll know that I love books. I’ve already made Tim promise me that (if we are ever reasonably wealthy and have nothing else to buy) I can have a nice library in a home someday. I even want the ladder on the wheels to roam my little version of paradise!
I have a good book collection, but would like to have more. Buying books is something I would do freely if we had lots of expendable income. I feel guilty buying kitchen gadgets and decorating stuff, but books I never feel guilty about acquiring. I read a wide variety of books, from children’s books to adult books to non-fiction (although I don’t read enough non-fiction). I love the smell of a bookstore or the library, and love wandering around the library and finding new authors to read.
Still, with my love of all things written, there are two books that I read several times a year. The first is “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. A Newbery-Award winning book, “The Giver” stirs me at a gut level. The Utopian society, the way life is lived, the discovery that there is more than just the small world in which you live, the discovery of beauty, pain, death, love…color. It is a simply-written book with a profound message that makes me sit and think and rediscover the written word.
If you’ve never read this book, give it a chance. It may be for younger readers, but it will still speak to you, I promise. I love this book so much, I even used it in a staff devotion at work. Trust me, it’s worth the few hours it will take to read it.
Another book I read a couple times a year is completely different than “The Giver.” Stephen King’s “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” is a great book about becoming an author, writing, and staying true to yourself in a world that kind of wants you to sell out. It isn’t a technical book on how to write a book, but instead is King’s self-told journey from his first attempt at writing as a child, to the nail where he hung his rejection letters, to teaching English, to the phone call that changed his life when “Carrie” was sold.
King is, maybe surprisingly for some, one of my favorite authors. His books can be scary, and there are some I just don’t like, but more often than not, King creates a world that is so complete that even his scariest books seem plausible, within their created world. (“Bag of Bones” is still the scariest book I’ve ever read and the only book that has ever made me jump while reading it.) Some of King’s best work are stories that deal with humanity and how we live, love, and hurt each other on this world. “On Writing” is probably the most honest book ever written about how one person became an author. Sure, there are some great basic guides for writing and editing contained, but the heart of the book is King’s personal story. I love this book, and every time I read it, I am re-energized to follow my passion again.
Both of these books have a permanent place on my nightstand, along with my Bible and journal. They are never far from my reach, just in case I want to read them again.
What books are your favorites?