You know that feeling. That feeling where you a smile spreads across your face, and it just seems so right and perfect. That feeling that you’ve found something special, something that is yours and yours alone and you never want to let it go. It’s the feeling of love. I felt that seven times today when I re-experienced Aristotle, Plato, Kierkegaard and some authors I had never heard of. John Green wrote about how some books fill you with an ‘evangelical zeal’, and I really do feel that is the only possible way to describe how I feel about a good book.
It’s easy to feel alone in this world, people walk around with a façade that life is merry and there isn’t a care in the world while their soul screams for help or someone to just notice them and ask them if they’re okay. Books on the other hand, they’re often real (as authors pour their souls into these books). Don’t get me wrong, I will not generalize all books being the same, but occasionally you find this book that is brimming with honesty. It’s almost as if it’s speaking to you, it’s written for you and as if it’s putting the thoughts that you struggled so hard to make coherent into words. It’s immersing you into another person’s experiences. Even books that claim they are purely fiction bear some fragments of the author that the black and white words have clung onto and refused to let go of. It allows you to see the world from another’s perspective, whether it’s a boy that broke your heart, your mother who so desperately has tried to raise you well, or the African Americans who have suffered years of injustice that you may never otherwise begin to understand.
We are all different, but we are all human, and because of this similarity, we are all the same as well. Many of us share the same experiences, feel the same emotions and to have someone process the same thoughts in which you thought you were alone in thinking. But it also allows us to experience the world, to experience cultures and even experience other people. While not all books may strike you the same way, to find one that encapsulates how you feel about certain things, or even to strike you to feel differently –whether about a person, a race or even life – is one of the best feelings alive.
Saturday, I spent my day exploring every nook and cranny of a used bookstore. While some people have guilty pleasures of shoes or even massaging other people’s feet (yes, I have met someone with this fetish), mine is used bookstores. I run my fingers over the loved and used spines of old books scanning the titles and covers for one that catches my eye. I call it love at first sight. These books hold the in-erasable marks of humans, from inscriptions, to personal notes to even a splotch of ketchup from dinner. Each book is a mystery, not only in each word written or whether the book fits your personality like a glove, but in the character other people who have loved or hated the same book have changed it into their own.
I fell in love seven times today, with books that each touched me a certain way that I grasped them to my chest and decided it was no less than a necessity to bring them home with me. As I finish the last few sentences of this article, I feel excitement pulsing through my veins, as I’m excited to start a relationship with each of these books. To explore them, to feel (whether disappointment or love) and to finally turn the last page, end them and then fall in love with them, again and again.