Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bon Appetit

A house without books is like a room without windows.

Horace Mann
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On September 8 I wrote in this journal that I sometimes say I don't read books, I eat them. Even with bad eyesight, books are a great pleasure in my life. During my career I didn't do as much reading of books as I would have liked to because I spent so much time reading scripts, the same scripts over and over again. There was no time left for literature of the fiction, non fiction variety.

When I was a child, due to the poor and often squalid living quarters, there wasn't much of interest to see out the windows, so I was a reader. Someone gave me a book of poems by Robert Leuis Stevenson which I loved. I soon found he had written a novel called "Treasure Island" so I read that.

I made ample use of the local library. The librarian was a very nice spinster who, even into her 60's, rode her bicycle back and forth to work. When she saw that I enjoyed "Treasure Island" she recommended Jules Verne to me. So I read many of the Verne novels beginning with "Mysterious Island." They gave me a taste for science fiction and prophesy, as some of those novels have come true (submarines, rapid air travel and the moon landing).

During my career I worked part time, when I was available, recording books for the blind, under a grant from The Library Of Congress. I recorded over 25 books, mostly fiction, with some philosophy. Because it was for the Library everything had to be correct, mistakes were not allowed. As a result I read every book carefully, painstakingly, as much as I would read the script of a play I was going to perform, because recording the book was a performance.

Hence, now I treat every book with the same meticulous care, and instead of reading them, I eat them. Meaning I read, reread and return to the books I love and remember. Every time I return to a book the landscapes are different, the dynamics have shuffled and the characters have all grown up. To open a book leads me into a strange and unexpected universe where I am an invited guest into the author's imagination. It is a journey into and through small towns, city streets, deep forests, across shifting dunes and into outer space. I go in front and beckon, take the author's hand or walk behind and follow every footprint. I look where the author points and see things I never see. I hear the silent sounds and taste the fruit. I have hundreds of windows stacked up under my windows, waiting to be eaten.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never Give Up
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SUMMER QUESTION

The end of Summer is fast approaching, people.

It's a long, hot, sticky summer, so here's a hot, sticky question for you.

Same sex marriage. Should it be legal or not? If so, why? If not, why not?

dbdacoba@aol.com

21 interesting answers so far.

You have until the last day of summer, but don't dally.
I eagerly await your answer.

DB
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7 comments:

Jon said...

Your thoughts on books are a very close reflection of mine. Reading has always been the greatest joy of my life. Books are the only things that have never disappointed or betrayed me.....
It must have been a very rewarding feeling to have recorded books for the blind. That's a truly admirable accomplishment.

Linda's World said...

I have lots & I mean lots of windows in my house too. So many I sometimes wonder if the floor will cave in....I've always been a reader. I can remember as a kid (in the summer) taking a pillow & an old blanket up on the slanted roof of our chicken coop. I'd spread out the blanket and lay down with my book & read until my mom started hollering for me. This was done partly to read & partly to get away from my little brother who thought I should entertain him all the time.

Dannelle said...

I love what to say about reading. I must be a glutton but that is better than being an anorexic where reading is concerned!

Arlene (AJ) said...

Like you I love to read and always have 4-5 books around to enjoy. I've become friends with all the folks at the library to the point that they said they have reserved a chair/pillow for me, so that I can just sleep there...that's it's an area strictly for me.

How touching to hear that you recorded books for the blind, DB. Just think of all of them who have been blessed to hear your words that otherwise wouldn't possibly have had the chance to enjoy a book...you really touched their lives in such a special way.

Arlene (AJ) said...

Like you I love to read and always have 4-5 books around to enjoy. I've become friends with all the folks at the library to the point that they said they have reserved a chair/pillow for me, so that I can just sleep there...that's it's an area strictly for me.

How touching to hear that you recorded books for the blind, DB. Just think of all of them who have been blessed to hear your words that otherwise wouldn't possibly have had the chance to enjoy a book...you really touched their lives in such a special way.

Beth said...

You know I share your love! :)

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Preaching to the choir!