“Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.” — John Green
When was the last time you read a book? I don’t mean “got through” or “skimmed,” but actually finished a book you enjoyed? When’s the last time you connected with words and pages that became wrinkled and wet from overuse and constant companionship? When was the last time you went from front to back, feeling the binding as it melted away with the pages and the world behind you?
With the dawn of AppleTV and DVR, reading has taken a backseat for many, as we’re enticed with more shows and fewer commercials. The infinite programs and Netflix original series have created a standard of television like never before and we’ve happily followed it into the golden age.
Today, we talk about television like it’s art, and don’t get me wrong, it most definitely is. The premium programming, AMC mini series and wide array of Netflix originals have elevated television to a new art form and we can’t get enough. We’re connecting with shows like never before; writing reviews, analyses and articles to display our passion for the new series or movies that have changed the way we connect with TV.
However, in the midst of all the idle chatter and television recaps, we’re forgetting another valuable and beautiful art form: the book. In the middle of all this hyped television obsession, I must ask: What about that beautiful moment when you connect with a book?
“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” - Groucho Marx
For those of you still participating in the lost art of reading, you know that connecting with a book is an experience unparalleled to anything you can get from a screen. It’s a magical and entrancing experience that turns the pages into friends and creates longing for something you didn’t know you could long for. It’s a connection that can’t be compared to that with friends or coworkers, but a special bond between just you and its pages.
Connecting with a book is like connecting with nothing else. It’s a race to finish something you never want to end, an unfaltering loyalty to something you’ve only known a few days, and an urge to reread something moments after you’ve just finished it. It’s this bond between you and words that transport you to places and feelings you never knew existed.
It can be a life-altering experience, one that molds you into the person you’re destined to become. Books have that quality, the quality to change and influence their readers. They can change your mind, open your heart and awaken your soul. They have the ability to transcend generations, race and age.
Connecting with a good book is like connecting with hundreds of people. It’s connecting with all those who have held the pages before you and the many who will hold them after you. It’s a feeling you only recognize if you’ve experienced it and will forever remain an intimate relationship that can't be fully described or encapsulated. However, if you’re still unsure, here are the signs you’ve really connected with a book:
You miss it the second you finish it.
It’s the only book you ever want to read.
You compare every new book you read to it.
You want to talk about it with everyone.
You can’t stop thinking about it.
You’ve reread it more than once, or twice.
You recommend it to everyone, whether they ask for it or not.
You’ve underlined more than you haven’t.
You carry it with you everywhere.
You look for other copies when you’re book shopping.
You quote it incessantly.
You’ve already looked to see if they’ve made a movie version.
You think it should be on a mandatory reading list.
You get mad when your friends don’t start reading it immediately.
You read certain parts over and over again.
You have ordered all the other books the author has written.
You’ve Sparknoted and researched it just to read more about it.
You eat, sleep and walk with it.
You forget what your favorite book was before it.
You carry it with you even after you’ve finished it.
You feel weird putting it on your bookshelf, hidden against all the others.
You consider it your best friend; it knows you better than anyone and you know it.
Photo via We Heart It