Opening a book.

Opening a book for the first time is like letting a stranger into your home.

You have no idea if you are going to like them or not. Will they be pompous, verbose, long winded, take forever to get to the point? Will they assume you have known them for years? Start anecdotes with no context or just witter on and on with no end to the context, until you want to gnaw off your own hand?

Will they embarrass you with intimate details about their bodies or family ailments? Or even worse will they tell you suddenly how appalling their childhood was and induce in you a sense of nauseated impotence about how awful the world can be?

Maybe they will make you squirm on the sofa with their unhealthy political views slid unexpectedly between an observation about travel and food.

Maybe they will simply talk nonstop about themselves and you will wonder if they actually have any friends and then will understand why they don’t and worry, that by listening to them for so long, you might now be considered their friend.

Or, will you be intrigued by them?

Lean back and let them talk, because you really want to hear more? Will you laugh at their self deprecating asides and really relish all the details, be positively disappointed when they pause for breath? Be astonished by how the time has flown by while your guest has been talking? When they are gone, will you look out of the window and see something for the first time, still hear them talking in your head and hope they will come back soon?

A good writer can make you care about the most unlikely things and open your mind. A bad writer can ruin the thing you thought you loved .

I am tempted to stretch this analogy to breaking point, but will stop.

Shutting a book is so much easier than getting rid of a dull guest. Although you may be passionately opinionated about the book that you are reading, you don’t have to worry about the book talking back. If you don’t like it, it is muted by the simple act of you putting it down and never picking it up again.

Ahh! If only all of life were that simple!

Books waiting to be read. Who will be the friend?

8 thoughts on “Opening a book.

  1. peterspetra says:

    The Blue Horses of Franz Marc is one of my favourite paintings – thank you. I do hope that reading your books will be a good experience, that they will be fascinating guests. I have just finished a very informative book about the relation between Russia and the west.

    Liked by 1 person

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