Over the weekend, professor and author Timothy Shaffert tweeted out a question about experiences readers have had while reading:
What's been your favorite reading experience? Not your favorite book, necessarily, but one of your favorite moments/periods of engagement with a book? Situations when the actual circumstances of reading it enhanced your appreciation of the book, or in some way proved memorable?
11:09 AM - 5 May 2018
These days, it seems everyone has their nose to a screen, not buried in a book. So it was refreshing to see the answers pour in from all over the world from a variety of readers!
Check out some of these experiences and see if any mirror what you have experienced while reading...
Reading “Perfume: the story of a murderer” by Patrick suskind in a lavender garden in southern France. Book all about scents. Takes place in France. Felt like 3D reading. Still remember. I used a strand of lavender as my bookmark.
At the American School in El Salvador, my 5th grade teacher read segments of “Island of the Blue Dolphins” everyday. I rested my head on my desk and listened, and melted into the story. I reread it as an adult and found it was still wonderful.
2 weeks off a year ago, I read Alice in Wonderland to my loving Mum, while she was on life-support. I didn’t finish the final chapter, because I didn’t want it to end. Perhaps she knew - she passed a couple of hours later. I loved her reading to me when I was young.
Every 3am summer night from age 8 to about 15, with only me, my book, and the feeling that I had the entire world to myself.
When I was 7 or so, my mum went off to university mid week, coming home at weekends. My dad wasn't sure what to do with me, so he read me Lord of the Rings over the first few months. We read a bit every night, taking it in turns, me sitting on his lap in his rocking chair.
I was 20 years old. At a tiny inn in the Swiss Alps, it poured rain all day. I sat in the cafe and read the last 800 pages of Les Miserables - through all three meals, countless coffees and a few beers. Best reading day of my life.
I Read Fight Club in one sitting straight through the night. I maintain that's how it was meant to be read
On a date. Out on a red dirt country lane. Sitting on the hood of his '68 Chevelle. Full moon. When I said you can read by this moonlight, he pulled out a battered paperback & read to me.Married 48 years in Sept
Reading these gave me such perspective on all the myriad of ways that a book can come with us on an adventure, thus creating a 'mini-adventure' of sorts within our trip. Even everyday occurrences can become magical with help from a book, too.
I hope you look at your next read not just as a bit of escape, but as an adventure. I also hope you will take in the surroundings and the moment itself as part of that adventure. The book is more than just pages and a story, it can be a moment in your life where you embrace your soul, drink in life and live fully in the moment...all while lost in a paper world.
When did you have a memorable experience with a book? Did it happen in childhood, thus forging your love of reading? Was it later in life? I'd love to hear! Tweet me @aully1 and let's keep Tim's thread going!
For more on Tim, author of 'The Swan Gondola', please check his website here.