There are few books that are so good, so touching, so relevant, that I have to close them and get a grip on myself while I read. I couldn’t keep reading this book until I didn’t have any more time, I had to only read until my heart couldn’t take anymore and needed some time to recover!
How did I accidentally come across such a wonderful book? Did someone recommend it to me? Was it on a list of “must reads” that I found somewhere? Not at all. Once again, a book I sorely needed fell into my path and I picked it up. And I will never regret it.
A few weeks ago, you may remember, I had an urge to visit the closest physical new book store over 60 miles away. It was an adventure for sure. That’s where I found this book. I posted about it HERE.
I had started to read it in line at the bookstore and continued in the car while I ate lunch that day. I instantly fell in love…ok maybe I just lusted after a new book, I don’t know. The cover was so romantic and the back beckoned me to open it and dive in. Unfortunately, after that little taste of love, I had to go home and finish the book I was already reading, but that wasn’t too much trouble. I was loving The Brothers Karamazov anyway and had to find out what was going to happen to Ivan before I found out why Perdue was so lovesick!
Once I got started, I swam through it in under 9 hours. I devoured it with my eyes. It broke my heart and then healed it. So much beauty! To me, the best part was that these characters were older, like me, not young twenty-somethings. They had lived, lost, re-lived, and just started living. It praised patience, kindness, and various kinds of love under different circumstances. It showed me people who ran out and got what they needed when they needed it, even in their 50’s and 60’s. I loved every page of it and closed it in tears of joy.
“With all due respect, what you read is more important in the long term than the man you marry, ma chere Madame.”
True? I think so! What you read teaches you how to live with others, how to get along with anyone.
It’s going to be hard to limit my quotes from this book. I underlined a spectacular line on just about every page! Here’s another one:
“Books aren’t eggs, you know. Simply because a book has aged a bit doesn’t mean it’s gone bad.” “What is wrong with old? Age isn’t a disease. We all grow old, even books. But are you, is anyone, worth less, or less important, because they’ve been around for longer?”
How many times have I heard THAT argument? “This book isn’t relevant to our age!” While that may be true for instruction manuals, it is rarely true about anything else. To relate to each other today, we have to understand our past. You can’t set aside a book, or a person, because of their age.
One of the sweetest ideas in this book is his idea of a “Literary Apothecary.” He wanted to create an encyclopedia of little emotions. He prescribes books to heal ailments. Can you just imagine it? How about this one…
“Books are more than doctors, of course. Some novels are loving, lifelong companions; some give you a clip around the ear; others are friends who wrap you in warm towels when you’ve got those autumn blues. And some…well, some are pink candy floss that tingles in your brain for three seconds and leaves a blissful void. Like a short, torrid love affair.”
Human emotion, human relationships, are just so amazingly varied and delicate. I want that encyclopedia! I want that apothecary to prescribe just what I need and it seems he did through this book. It broke my heart into little pieces and I loved every second of it!
I’ll be here all day if I keep thumbing through and commenting on every line of this book. Go get it! You won’t regret it.