There are books and then there are books. There are books you read just pass time or it appeals to you for one reason or another. Sometimes it is because a certain author is your favorite so you read anything they publish. A book club selection or the new books offered at the library. Sometimes you take the recommendations of friends and magazines, perhaps Oprah. It could even be the shelf at the book store that says "Staff Pick".
However you chose what to read sometimes out of the enormous sea of possibilities a book will rise above the rest that effects you in some profound way. It could be something as simple as alter the way you think about a subject or a theme or a philosophy. At other times it can be life altering.
I remember the first "life altering" book I read. I think I was around 12. My Mom would take us to this little second hand book store in downtown Lexington called "Dennis Books". We were allowed to go through the mountains of books and purchase what we wanted. (My Mom was/is one of a kind).
I came home with a purple paperback, "The World of Henry Orient" by Nora Johnson. That book rocked my little sleepy southern home town world.
I wanted to be "Val" and fly around NYC wearing my mothers discarded mink coat and be a brilliant vivacious musically talented neurotic 13 year old. I just fell in love with Val. I think I willed myself to be slightly neurotic ever since!
I re-read the book several years ago. It took me a long time to find a copy! The book had been reissued and I was just out of luck hunting it down. This was very pre-Amazon. Every bookstore I entered I would look, always in vain and leave disappointed. If memory holds correct, I believe the local book store in Lexington, Jo-Beth, special ordered the book for me. Finally (!) I got my hands on it and read it in a single sitting.
Like all magic carpet rides it took me back to the enchanting era of being 12 years of age, sitting in my pink bedroom in the over sized easy chair discarded from the family living room and laid to rest in my second story bed room. I would throw my legs over one arm and cosy up in the soft comfort of its snugness and read for hours.
I was almost relieved that I still felt its charming appeal. And somewhat alarmed that it is considered "Young Adult" fiction. Geez, am I the only person who has actually read this book!
Do you have any special books from your youth that you remember fondly and have re-read as an adult?