Books are my favourite things in the whole world.
The only thing better than being totally immersed in a book is having a pile of books to read.* There’s something about all the potential contained between the covers that is deeply satisfying to me. I know that some people stress about the books in their ‘to read’ pile, but I love having books around that I haven’t read because it means that I am always in the beginning of the process, I always have more to discover.
Unread non-fiction books and unread novels feel different to me, but they are both great. Unread non-fiction feels like I am going to learn something, like there is captive knowledge waiting to make its way into my brain. Unread fiction though, that feels like friends that I haven’t met yet. I especially like when I have unread novels in a series, so fictional friends are waiting to introduce me to more people. The idea of that makes me smile even though I haven’t exactly thought of it like that before. I love to sink into worlds that I know (in series) and worlds that I don’t, and I love to sink into a well constructed argument in a non-fiction book – particularly a self-development book.**
I just want to soak up every bit of knowledge that is available to me and I want to know that even more is available when I choose to soak it up. All that possibility is exciting. 🙂
The funny thing is that I have found that writing novels and working on a non-fiction book are almost as exciting as reading them. There is a similar pleasure in constructing the story, in creating the world, in shaping the discussion. It’s not the same as the sense of discovery in someone else’s work but the feeling is definitely on the same spectrum. It’s like participating in a important ritual. I’m going to do my part so someone else has the discover experience, and someone else is doing theirs for me to discover. It’s like a giant energy exchange, like a world-wide conspiracy to entertain and amuse and educate each other and the creation of the entertainment can be as lovely as immersing ourselves in it.
Now that I’ve written this I feel a bit more of a responsibility to get my work out there, like I am part of a chain or a circle, and if I don’t to my part, the formation won’t work, the next step won’t happen. You know what’s weird though? That doesn’t feel like pressure, it feels kind of liberating – like it is the effort that matters more than the results. I love when that happens!
*I also like having books-in-waiting on my e-reader, but that’s not exactly the same.
** I am a particular fan of books about how our brains work with us or against us, and how our brains find stories in everything we do.