One year ago tonight, while en route from Florida to Michigan, I was lounging in the motel in Macon, Georgia, opened the sleek little laptop computer Santa brought me, and started this blog about books. Now, twelve months and 155 posts later, I’m simply amazed at the network of booklovers I’ve encountered. I can say with certainty that book blogging was one of the highlights of my 2008!
Last year at this time I was reading a book about books ….Literacy and Longing in LA, the story of Dora, a Los Angeles bibliophile, who allowed her passion for books to rule her life. The book was a light hearted look at a truly ravenous reader, a fun novel written co-authored by Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack.
Oddly enough, right now I’m reading another book about books and the power of reading …The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. (And this one is team written, too, by Mary Ann Shaffer-who sadly passed away in February 2008- and her niece Annie Barrows.) Early in the novel, which is written in epistolary form and centers around the correspondence between Juliet Ashton, a journalist in post WWII London, and a group of folks in the Channel Islands who formed a rather unusual literary society during the German occupation, Juliet writes this:
That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It’s geometrically progressive, all with no end in sight, and for nother other reason than sheer enjoyment.
Reading is one of life’s simplest, yet most complex pleasures, for while it may begin as a solitary pastime, it often extends the reader into far reaching interests and relationships. It’s relationships that are at the core of The Guernsey Literary Society, the bonds that the members create during this most stressful wartime situation, the way they support each other during times of sorrow and deprivation, and the way books provide the added ingredient to help them cope with it all. This little book has received all manner of good publicity this season, which is quite well deserved. Shaffer and Barrows have given us a charming novel ~ well written, informative, and filled with memorable characters who touch the reader’s heart in many ways.
Whilst reading The Guernsey Literary Society, I couldn’t help but think about the relationships we form here in the blogosphere, the support and care we come to feel for people who are really virtual strangers in the physical sense, but such close compatriots in terms of our shared passion for the written word. So here’s to reading~and writing about reading, in all it’s forms and fashions, from letters and diaries, to books and blogs!
And to celebrate the Bookstack birthday, there’s a present for you. Has reading ever led you to form a new relationship, or changed an existing relationship in some way? Leave a comment about your experience for a chance to win a copy of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. A winner will be chosen at random on January 10, 2009.