The summer sun has been savage. The coffee shop down the street has been an oasis for the sun-dazed, the gullible, and for me. How can a croissant and an Hibiscus-Passion flower tea cost 6 dollars? But that’s what my receipt says. So I pay and throw in a dollar in the tip jar. The barista, pretending she’s is not looking, doesn’t even say thank you. All the tables are taken. But then I see a guy reading Satanic Verses. The hellos are easy and quick. Sit. Sip. And complement him on his delightful taste in novels. He tells me that after five years, he was still on page 10. I do the math. 10 pages per five years. He’ll need several more lifetimes. He laughs. His name is Josh, by the way. One of his new year resolutions is to read two books a year. He hopes this is one of them. Despair not, I say. It took me 10 years to read Things Fall Apart. I opened the book for the first time when I was 7, when novels seemed like silly contraptions and the tiny prints seemed painfully ugly. Novels in my house where usually old and battered. For a long time, this made me think of novels as tragic masses of waste paper. I finally read Things Fall Apart in my first year of college. He laughs. And laughs. I don’t give him my number. But as I walk back home, it occurs to me that my relationship with books have not always been a love affair. Take for example this summer.
As a literature student in a my second year of college, I have read a lot of books. As a bibliophiliac, I still have nightmares about the sheer vastness of what I still haven’t read, most of which I will never read. A lifetime is just not enough. And then There’s Facebook, HBO and Netflix. Just last week, I watched all 94 episodes of Sex and The City in a little less that three day. I’m still shocked I could pull off such a feat. My roommate said it was a madness of magical proportion. Truth is I’ve become quite the bum since the spring semester ended. My couch has become unusually cozy. And crippling. Like a grave. My roommate calls it the couch of Desperate Housewives. The couch to Curb Your Enthusiasm. A couch in True Blood. I get it. I’m in a damn funk! But I there is a cure. A big, fat, juicy novel. An epic. A supersize story. A monster hit. Elliot’s Middle March? 100 Years of Solitude? Bleak House? The Lord of the Ring Trilogy? Check in next Sunday to know which one it turned out to be.
Photo Credit: sweetlywishing