Sunday, April 15, 2012

Of books and their worlds

How often is it that we find ourselves in a place that fit us as people and as dreamers so perfectly? A place where one feels at home... even if one were to visit that place for the first time! A place that sometimes, confined to the yellowing pages of books we grew up with...

I've always had a deep love for books and what they can teach. And oh, how much does a good book have to convey! It cannot be measured... probably it varies with how much one can learn. A good book is the best of teachers. There is no ego. The words do not change and yet, in those seemingly lifeless pages, there is a force that changes the reader so subtly... so beautifully... so magically!

I've had quite a long history with books. When my friends would play house and imagine themselves to be caught in the mires of the adult world, I escaped to the world of wizards and elves. No, I didn't become any character in the books I read. I was merely the faceless observer who had no part to play. Yet, being that observer gave me such a sense of belonging that I loathed putting away some of my books. I dreamed of the numerous worlds I read about. I yearned to go into them... to live them out. But never take part in them. The part of the anonymous and unaffected observer was all I sought.

One such book that touched my soul is "Silmarillion". True, it's not as famous as "The Lord of the Rings" but there is something about this work of Tolkien that manages to lure me in... I've read it a thousand times and every single time, it shows me something new. No two readings are the same! It's amazing how one can rediscover what one thought one knew so well and realize that everything is not as one thought them!

In Silmarillion, I could always relate to some character or the other and in no two readings have the characters ever been the same. And every time I open the book, I feel at peace! My world could be crumbling around me but as long as I have this book open in front of me, all will be well! I shall forever be indebted to Tolkien for giving me this wonderful gift!

Do you have a book that makes you feel this way?


  1. I also love "Silmarillion", and all of Tolkien's books. And Jan Karon's "At Home in Mitford" series cheers and comforts me every time I read any of it. And, of course, the Bible, most especially Psalm 139 (and lots more!) You are right: great books strengthen us and help us find peace. I am indebted to Tolkien as well. <3

    Now I wish I could spend the whole day reading some of my great old friends! : )

  2. @ Face to the Sunshine - I can completely relate to what you feel when you call your books your "Great old friends"! There could never have been better friends in the world than a well worn book! :)

  3. Dear Kikyo, Would you be able to tell me, please, how to write "The Generous One" (to be given as a title of respect)? In words, not kanji, please! This is the title of my karate sensei, and I would very much like to know how to say it in Japanese. Thank you very much for your help.