I love to read them. I love to hold them in my hands as their stories and mysteries unfold for me with the turn of every page. I love to own them and to see them on the shelves of my bookcases. I especially love old books, the older the better, especially surprising little tomes from the 19th and early-20th centuries, often found for a few dollars at tag sales and library sales, books with solid, tooled covers over thick, luxurious pages, and engravings protected by sheets of vellum that have survived the journeys through the decades, many inscribed to recipients long, long gone.
I love books for the stories they tell and the worlds they open to me. And I love the people who write the books that I love so much. Some, of course, more than others.
Take F. Scott Fitzgerald. I fell in love with his Great Gatsby the first time I read it in high school. I loved it for its passion, for its power, for its evocation of a lost era (I was, I think, born a nostalgic), and, mostly, for its prose. (Although as much as I loved the book, I couldn’t–at the time–quite wrap my brain around why Jay Gatsby had it so bad for Daisy Buchanan. I mean, let’s face it, Daisy was a vapid twit, a thoughtless rich girl who could easily fit into a contemporary reality show. The Real Housewives of East Egg, anybody? But, I guess what Emily Dickenson wrote is true: “The Heart wants what it wants – or else it does not care.”)