Monday, September 22, 2008

Impressions left by Books

I'm enthralled with the concept of this website.  It's the same as tracking the US$1 bills that people log, but there is something more personal about sharing books.  I guess because so many books leave lasting, life-long impressions or memories.  Memories that we each take into the corners of our brains and that over time get mixed with other, similar memories, creating our own, individual truths of what we read.  

The memories I have of most books seem to have left an impression on me mainly by painting pictures of various scenes or creating particular feelings.  Their accuracy to what was written may vary significantly from what is in my memory but that is what makes it all so personal.

Memory Keeper's Daughter: Painted a beautiful picture in my head of an end-of-summer party; outside on a comfortable night, fireflies sparkle around the green, but urban back yard and the smell of strawberries mixes with the sound of happy conversations.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: Allows me to see a little girl with ribbons in her hair, sitting on a fire escape engrossed in a book as children play below her; laughing and loud, but she is perfectly happy and at peace in her own literary world.  

Ferdinand the Bull (not the Disney version): I get the warmest feelings when I close my eyes & remember the detailed drawings in the book of Ferdinand sitting under a tree smelling the flowers.  I remember as a child knowing that if I ever met him (Ferdinand) that he & I would be very good friends.  I loved that he smiled with delight as he smelled all of the flowers that the ladies threw at him in the bull ring.  
A Danielle Steele book that I read in high school has created my vision of Stowe, VT.  I remember being on vacation & spending a day or two in Stowe while I was reading it & having the dreamiest, most loved feeling (I must have been in the happy, love-y part of the story during our short stay there & not to the tear-jerking tragedy part).  It was pure coincidence that the book had anything to do with Stowe and that we visited there on our trip, which I think helped add to the serendipitous feeling I had about the town.  I have since visited Stowe multiple times & have never quite regained that same magical feeling that I had the first time, but it still remains a dreamy place in my mind.

Miss Suzy: I think the color of the book cover probably burned associations into my brain because I don't have that many memories of the story itself.  However, this time every year when the crisp autumn air moves in and the leaves start to turn, a vision of snuggling up to have this book read to me comes to mind.  

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