Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Reverence for Books and Reading

Exercise Five:
Reverence for Books and Reading
Think back to a childhood experience with one special book. How did it affect you? Which characters were the most memorable? What did you learn? What long-term influence has it had on your life?

I had a discussion with a colleague/friend of mine recently. We were talking about books we had read. I mentioned that I didn't understand how people could re-read books. I mentioned that there were some classics we were required to read in school that I could never get through but would like to revisit now that I am older and much wiser. But I don't re-read books. He said, well why would you? There are too many to read the first time. And I thought that that summed up nicely how I feel about books.

But I have an exception.

The Chronicles of Narnia.

I remember reading all of the books once, but The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe I read twice. The only book I have ever read more than once. It still is with me. In fact, I don't think anyone was excited as I was when I found that they were going to be movies. And for the record, I loved the two that have been made so far. I have seen other adaptations and they suck.

My favorite character is Aslan. He reminds me so much of my father who has been dead for 21 years. Methodical, thoughtful, compassionate, fair. Those are characteristics I hope I have and I hope I impart to others.

C.S. Lewis made me want to devour books. And devour I do.

Ironically, it wasn't until fairly recently that I found out what a staunch Christian he was. I had no idea the Chronicles of Narnia had anything to do with God and such. I thought they were damn good stories. But I don't like them any less knowing they are about Christianity.

My niece started reading them and the librarian told her to read the last book first. I was so upset I almost went to the library to kill the woman. Thank God for Aslan. He reminded me to be calm. She will get her comeuppance for suggesting something so ridiculous to a young girl not inclined to read.

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