My church is in a book
Picking books for me is a very spiritual thing. I became aware of the connection with the stories we read and where we are in our personal development in my early twenties. I had picked up a book then that filled my usual criteria: beautiful cover art, awesome sounding summary and the first paragraph grabbed me. So I bought it. I brought it home, lovingly sat down to start reading it and ugh – couldn’t get past the first chapter. It. Was. So. Boring. What started off with so much promise quickly became an annoyance. What the hell was I thinking when I bought it?
So I gave up reading it and put the book away.
Then I did stuff, you know, like living life. Fast forward about 8 years later and I picked up the book again after doing a major clean. I thought, why not give it a second chance? So I did. And. I. Loved. It. It was like a completely different book! Why didn’t this story exist the first time around?
Well, I don’t think I was ready for it the first time around. The story I read 8 years later was a gift of insight that was much needed at that time. The name of that book? I have no fricken clue. I forget (it was like, 7 years ago!) and I no longer have it. Regardless, the point is that during the second time around with that story I realized books choose us as much as we choose them.
Ever since then I listen closely to what the books say when I walk into a book store, library or even my own house – in a sense, any place that is covered in books is my church. That is why covers of books are important to me, they are part of the communion. Amidst thousands of books in a book store, a colour will jump out at me, or perhaps it’s the cursive flow of the title. Regardless, there is no coincidence in my being in that book store. My spirit is craving a new story, one that fills in a piece of the puzzle that perhaps an experience has not been able to complete. My eye has landed on a certain book because it has answered my call.
Books are spiritual. They are personal. Our decision to invest our time in a story is not one of chance (in my humble opinion). That is why I have such strong emotional reactions when I am reading books – whether I hated it or loved it, it is a new insight into some aspect of my life (of me), that I have not yet considered. If I am in denial, I probably hated the book. If I am open and accepting I probably loved it. If I am on my period, I am probably sobbing while reading it. Whatever the end result of that story, I appreciate it and will always be thankful for the authors who offer up these stories like sermons from the pulpit.