Saturday, November 2, 2013

Books in Your Being

I really love books. I love them as physical items on their own; the way they look and smell and feel. I love the intrinsic promise they hold. I love how every story has the power to change you.

I've been thinking a lot about the book Every Day by David Levithan. I read this book many months ago and it is one book that has become lodged somewhere under my ribs, truly melding into who I am.

If you haven't read the book, you need to know that the main character, A, is a soul without a body. A wakes up in a different body every day and thus gets to experience life through so many different perspectives. You learn so many insights into the the old adage of walking a mile in someone else's shoes from A, but there is one that is permanently in my DNA.

“It’s so hard when you’re in one body to get a sense of what life is really like. You’re so grounded in who you are. But when who you are changes every day- you get to touch the universal more. Even the most mundane details. You see how cherries taste different to different people. Blue looks different. You see all the strange rituals boys have to show affection without admitting it. You learn that if a parent reads to you at the end of the day, it’s a good sign that it’s a good parent, because you’ve seen so many other parents who don’t have the time. You learn how much a day is truly worth, because they’re all so different. If you ask most people what the difference was between Monday and Tuesday, they might tell you what they had for dinner each night. Not me. By seeing the world from so many angles, I get more of a sense of its dimensionality.”

This struck me so profoundly. And it rang so true. And this slips to the forefront of my thoughts on any night that I may feel as though one or all of us are "too tired." While reading to my children each night has always been a top priority in our day, it has now become a complete non-negotiable. Even if we are all exhausted, we pull a poem anthology off the shelf and read a poem together. Even though I am in no way the target audience for this book, Every Day has heavily impacted who I am as a parent and our family as a whole. We all cherish these entirely non-negotiable moments each evening.

This is the best current example I have of how books can so completely become a part of your being.

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