Monday, October 21, 2013

Lost Between the Pages

I really need this t-shirt. But not in black.

My junior year of high school,  part way through the semester, I became the TA for one of my math teacher's classes. I don't remember the circumstances of how that happened, only that it did. I would grade quizzes and file stuff. Whatever. But one particular day, she didn't have anything for me to do. So I pulled out a book, which I always have with me and I still do to this day, and I read. For almost 2 hours. In high school, we only had 4 classes per day, alternating which classes each day. It made for VERY long class periods. But in this case, I was grateful. I was completely immersed in the story and with no distractions (I may have had headphones in so I wasn't bothered by the lesson that I didn't care about), I was in deep. I wasn't reading the words on the page, I was seeing it in my mind clear as can be. I remember that feeling, but oddly, I don't remember what book it was. I read over a hundred pages or so. And then I was jarred back to reality by a rude school bell. I closed my book, gathered my things, and flowed into the hallway with my fellow students. 

But then...I realized I didn't know where I was supposed to be going. No idea what my next class was. I didn't even recall what day of the week it was to know which set of classes I had that day. It was....strange. I was still so caught up in the world I had just been in. The one of which I was reading. My body was going through the motions of heading to another mundane class (which ever one it was), but my mind still resided with the characters on the page. It was bizarre. And it only lasted a minute or two. I did eventually remember what day it was, and the corresponding class my feet directed me to. But to this day, I still remember that feeling. That total sense of getting hopelessly lost between the pages. 

It hasn't happened since, that feeling of losing touch with reality so fully because of a book. But I do occasionally find a story that I can hardly bear to put down. One that I want to dive into fully, allow myself to be swallowed whole. I have to know what happens next. I have to get to the end, although  saying good bye to these characters I know will be painful. This it what non-readers don't understand. And it is why I don't understand those people who don't read. I need books. I crave them. I have too many and I still buy more. No regrets (except when I move). I just can't get enough.

I have found such a book as I described above. Half way through it in 24 hours. I can't help but devour it, although I try to tell myself to take it slow. It is "Every Day" by David Levithan. My first of his books, but certainly not my last. 

Here's a bit about it:

I wake up.
Immediately I have to figure out who I am. It’s not just the body—opening my eyes and discovering whether the skin on my arm is light or dark, whether my hair is long or short, whether I’m fat or thin, boy or girl, scarred or smooth. The body is the easiest thing to adjust to, if you’re used to waking up in a new one each morning. It’s the life, the context of the body, that can be hard to grasp.
Every day I am someone else. I am myself—I know I am myself—but I am also someone else.
It has always been like this.

Right? Check it out. You'll thank me later. 


  1. Would it be a good suggestion for my book club?

    1. I'm not sure what the parameters are for your book club and I'm not finished with it yet, but it's beautifully written and does raise some interesting questions. Might be good for discussion.

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