My Material Soul

4010b2efb3471be666343487bde1b601I love this, and it is most certainly me. I get very emotionally invested in my reading material, and especially the characters. When I read a long book or a series, it takes me a while to re-coop when it is completed. This is probably why I was not a fan of Game of Thrones 😉  It’s also why I prefer to read books before I watch any adaptations. I like having the opportunity to form my own ideas, thoughts, and (most importantly) imagination around a story.

Book have always been a magical experiencing for me. Some more than others, but it is a feeling and experience I treasure. For this reason I have a hard time casually reading books I am emotionally invested in. I need to really be able to focus and absorb the story, so I can really feel like I am a part of it. I try to purposefully insure that I am distraction free. It’s not always easy or possible, but it worth it for a quality reading experience. I have been known to put off reading a particular book, simply because I knew I would not be able to really lose myself in it. I didn’t want to cheapen the experience knowing I would only get to read it a quick moment here and there. I don’t mind reading some books this way, but when it’s a book that I am really connected to I don’t want to be desperately scrounging for time to read it. That’s just stressful and depressing. Maybe that means I take my books and my reading way to seriously, and to that I say
“AMEN.”

Does anyone else do that? Put off reading something purposefully until the atmosphere is just right?

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23 thoughts on “My Material Soul

  1. I have a button on one of my jackets that says “I read therefore I am”. One of the things that I enjoy about reading is getting lost in the world that the author has created. A well crafted story can keep me absorbed for hours on end. For me there is nothing better than sitting down with a good book because for me it is like meeting with an old friend. Keep calm and read on. Charles

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  2. I totally get what you’re saying. I don’t like to fly through books just to get them done. Some books are written for that but the really great ones are for reading slowly and getting everything you can out of them. I remember when I finished reading The Book Thief. I was so emotional at the end and I looked around my family of boys and felt like I was in a different world.

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  3. I remember reading “on the Beach” by Nevil Shute written in 1957. I was in high school, tenth grade if I remember accurately, mid 1970’s the cold war still going strong, it was just starting when the book was written.

    It’s about nuclear war, the last days of the aftermath, a naval sub commander leading his crew to the the only safe zone to be found; in Australia. The book goes on to detail the flights of fear, the oncoming radioactive cloud circulating the globe, parents with children dosing their children’s food, waiting for them to pass away, and then taking there last drink together. The book goes into great detail the many ways people choose to end their own life rather than face the type of death they know is on its way.

    I remember picking up the book in the morning, and reading the book all day lost to going to class, trapped within the story spread before me in the boo. So much in a trance to the ending lives the author made so real for me. I remember the class bell going off, I was thinking I needed to get to class, yet thinking why should I the world is ending, and I sat there unable to get my thoughts out of the book, the last bell having rang, my teacher wondering where I had been all day, missing all my classes. I’ve never read the book again, yet I wonder if the book is as good as I remember or it just was the times, where air raid practice would sound the call to hide under our desks as we had to worry; according to the powers that be, a possible nuclear attack.

    I grew up listening to such things, and wonder if the book tapped into my fears, the author was so good at describing the nature of my fear that I became hypnotized for a bit, or it was just that time of my life where such things captured my young imagination more then is healthy at times.

    I had the same feelings when reading Hiroshima, a doctor’s story of treating men, women, children after we dropped the bomb, his story of that day and the days that followed.

    I suppose it is good that I cam empathize to the point of pain in such things, it connects me, drives me to see things I would not otherwise see, yet when you connect yourself to others, fictionally or otherwise, and they die, you do lose some sense of who you are for a time. Lose the role of objective reader for a bit, which is good, yet painful none the less.

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  4. “No one really believes it anymore, but I believe I’ve truly found the answer. The secret of life is…books.”
    –My good friend Imaginecat (names remain unknown for unexplained reasons).

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    • I think it is true as well; books are life, for we do express; in its many forms, flavors and feels, the nature of how people interpret the stories of their lives. Fiction, non-fiction, literature, pulp, its all an expression of life. It lifts us up, drops us into deep depression as it helps connect us to those lives that we would otherwise never be able to connect with.

      If you can’t feel the heat of the long dry days in the Grapes of Wrath, the stark bone chilling fear in Anne Frank, the anger and moral quandaries of Atticus Finch, then your life, your ability to see the wisdom of your generation is still a work in progress.

      It’s okay to read the surface books, watch the surface people on TV, the magpie birds of the unreal, reality tV, the question is whether you come to allow such things to be chronic expression of how you make choices in your own life.

      A book, good or bad, is a labor of love, pain, a birthing if you will of someone’s subconscious attempts to tell the world how they feel. In someway sharing their pain as well as what little wisdom they may have to offer, even it at times, its what not to do, rather then what to do.at times.

      Books are not just words strung together, they are the life’s breath of someones soul. Dark or light or something in between, they are all are worth reading, if for no other reason than to see the world from another point of view.

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  5. I do that. I try to make sure I’m somewhere quiet and won’t be disturbed. I also often need a day in between books if I’ve read a really emotional one, or one that really played with my emotions. I don’t like skim reading books, I read slower than some people as well just so I really get into the book… I thought I was the only one lol 🙂

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  6. Sometimes it can take me a while to ” come out” of some books too. I have certain books that I wait to read until I can have no interruptions. Like today when it’s storming, I’ll read my book set in the Outer Hebrides!

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  7. My wife will dive into a book, sometimes reading all night. She is a “goal oriented person” for sure and she applies that to how she reads.
    On the other hand, I hate finishing books and close the pages more and more the closer I get to the end. When I find a book I like I want it to never end.
    My wife will say, “are you STILL reading that book!”

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  8. Strangely, perhaps, I gave up reading almost entirely when I started writing. I still revisit old friends, but I’m hopeless at anything quoted from the last thirty years, apart from major innovators like Rushdie and Vikram Seth. I know what you mean, though, about the perfect moment. Maybe I lost that somewhere…

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    • I suppose I tend to think the perfect moments are the ones we decide to have.

      When I’m writing I stop reading those books that run parallel to the subject matter I’m writing about, at least for the duration, I found myself reading a great book and then writing and on rereading found my style started to mimic the bookI was presently on. Weird yet I think when we’re training ourselves to write, reading something similar to what we are writing blurs in our minds.

      have a good week…

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  9. Definitely.
    A case in point is “Submission” by Houellebecque. Released the very same day as the Charlie Hebdo killings. I bought it in July in Paris. And every time I pick it up, some idiot blows himself off somewhere. Latest in Brussels.
    I have it on my bedside table. But It’s too close to home right now. 😦

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