I’ve heard people talking about how books are sustenance for the soul. During the past week, I’ve thought more and more about books as my food.
It starts when I go to the bookshelf and, just like when I stare into the refrigerator or the pantry, there’s plenty there, but nothing to eat. Time to go shopping.
Borrow from a friend? Buy from the store? Go to the library? Oh, the choices.
And the cuisines I could try – poetry, kids’ lit, nonfiction, magazines – just depends on what I’m in the mood for. Some, like a good steak, take me longer to digest. Others are like popcorn. I could keep eating voraciously and still want more.
I have to confess that professional reading is like fiber for me. I know it’s good for me. I know I have to have a certain amount in order to keep moving. And I do. I just don’t have to like it.
Usually, I have a variety of things on my plate to read. If you ask me, I can list four to six titles I’m grazing on. I need more than just one thing. Imagine how the dinner plate would look with nothing but potatoes.
What got me thinking about all of this in the first place? Well, sometimes my selections work together like a fine food and wine pairing. I don’t usually plan my reading list; it happens at random. Every once in a while, though, I get the right combination at the right time. Right now it’s Madeline L’Engle’s A Wind in the Door and Carl Jung’s The Undiscovered Self. (How did I ever find myself reading him? He shouted at me from the shelf in the library. What could I do but listen to a guy like that?)
L’Engle: “Help me! How can I feel love for Mr. Jenkins?” “What a strange idea. Love isn’t how you feel. It’s what you do.”
Jung: “If I want to understand an individual human being, I must lay aside all scientific knowledge of the average man and discard all theories in order to adopt a completely new and unprejudiced attitude.”
The two dovetail quite nicely as I read. What else is on my plate? Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Twinkie, Deconstructed by Steve Ettlinger, and Roald Dahl’s Ghost Stories. There’s also a huge grocery list I want to tackle, but I’m always up for recommendations. Got any suggestions for what’s tasty? Any more book-food comparisons? You’d be talking about two of my favorite things in the world. Hard to miss with that.