Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Old Friends
I've been in a weird mood lately and have turned for comfort to old friends. By that I mean old, favorite books. I find something wonderfully peaceful about reading books I know practically by heart. At the moment I am happily curled into Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers.

Old books are lovely. Especially when they fall open to a familiar, beloved page. When you have the blues there's nothing quite like letting a book fall open naturally and saying "oh yes, this is the part where they have dinner." Or "how wonderful, here's that beautiful passage about truth."

There are some books that I have truly enjoyed, loved even, but have no desire to read again. And yet others that I can read once a year and still enjoy. I wonder why that is? What makes one novel so repeatable and another a one-time only event? What makes it more curious is when there are some books by an author that I can reread and others I cannot. For instance, I love Jane Austen and can pick up Pride and Prejudice or Northanger Abbey and happily lose myself for hours. Emma, on the other hand, I cannot.

There are nights like tonight, when the rain kicks up and the wind moans down the street. When I'm vaguely discontented that I haven't done enough to save the world or disappointed in myself for not exercising more or eating more spinach. When my back is sore and my feet are cold. And yet when there are old friends, like Dorothy L. Sayers, the world is warmer and I am happier.

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