Friday, November 26, 2010

Little Nuggets of Book Gold

Have you ever read a passage from a book that was so perfect, so astute, so well written, so pertinent to your life that you just couldn't contain yourself?

Without any control on your part, you emitted some little squeak or squeal, your hands starting clapping or you shook your head in excitement?

I hope this has happened to you. Because it happens to me all the time, and if this isn't a common thing I very well might be losing my mind completely, or at least muscle control. I recently had such an experience (multiple times, actually) with Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman. Sum consists of forty vignettes about fantasized versions of the afterlife. Once you get past the fact that these stories are about death, you realize how well they reflect the lives we lead and the choices we make. They reflect our lives so well, in fact, that I have found myself in this squealing, squeaking, clapping state of semi-insanity at the end of almost every story. At a slow point while opening the store one morning, I picked up a copy of the book to see if it was worth purchasing. I found myself in a mini-fit at the end of the first story, that's how excited I was to read the whole thing. I was shaking my head, pounding my fists on the counter, squeaking to myself, glad the story was empty. Of course, I had forgotten that the tea shop next door was open. One of the workers there rushed over after witnessing my display to make sure I was alright and not having some sort of epileptic fit brought on by literature. Well, that was embarrassing.

It was embarrassing, but I'm not ashamed. (I see those as two very different things.) While I wish he hadn't been witness to my little spasm of book love, I wouldn't ever deny myself the pleasure of reading a book, or sentence, or even a word that is so perfect I really cannot contain my excitement. Finding those little nuggets of book gold are always worth it, even when the guy next door happens to see it.

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