Wednesday, August 1, 2012

It's A Book

Reading as a whole is a way of recuperation: accordingly, it is one of the things that lets me detach from myself and walk among foreign disciplines and souls.

Friedrich Nietzsche
Hello Barbara
"Watchman, tell us of the night."
The night is for reading.
I have right now in my hands a book. Yes, a book. It has covers front and back and in between them a stack of paper pages. It's a book. It happens to be "The Final Frontiersman" by James Campbell but that doesn't matter. It's a book. It's a book about Alaska. I'm fascinated by Alaska and all far northern places, that's why I own it. But that doesn't matter. What matters is that it's a book. It could be a TV show, or a web site, or a magazine or a DVD. But it isn't. It's a holy trinity. It's a book.

First there is the book itself, the physical fact of the book. The author wrote down ideas and concepts, did research, wrote some more, did more research and wrote some more. Then he rewrote, took things out, put them back, edited, proofread, made corrections, achieved a final copy he thought. Then an agent got involved and minor corrections or additions finally brought it to an editor. Discussions ensued about design and promotion until it finally reached the hands of a publisher. The mere fact of the physical creation of the book itself, which seems like a minor miracle, is the first leg on the holy trinity.

The book has had a lot of fathers and mothers peering over it but this is the child. I spread open the covers and begin the glorious, delicious act of reading. I quickly admire the writer for his skill, his narrative, his depictions of the frozen wasteland, of the tundra, of the primitive lives of the people who live there, his ideas. I am transported to a different world, a place which detaches me from myself and my surroundings which seem so dull by comparison. I am on a journey, an adventure.

Then comes the third leg of the holy trinity. Reading the book stirs in me that sense of adventure which has always been a part of my being. I start to make comparisons to myself, to identify myself with some of the characters. The scenes and events of the book affect me and open my thoughts and feelings to consider things that surround the story of my own life. The journey has become a spiritual one. When I finish the book and put it aside it will have entertained me, informed me, moved me and changed my life.

It's a book.

DB - The Vagabond
Never give up.


Arlene (AJ) said...

I can't imagine not having a book handy to read all the's my late in the evening way of relaxing and I love it and the peace it brings to my heart after a busy day.

Ken Riches said...

With vacation next week, I am looking forward to ready a few...