“Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow.”
–Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale–
Hello and welcome to Bites of Books!
When you take a bite of an apple there are a few things that happen:
- You taste the sweetness of the apple, the crisp sound reaches your ears as you bite into it.
- Your mouth salivates reacting to the enzymes the apple is filled with, telling your brain to tell your stomach to get to work.
- Perhaps a memory of another apple comes to mind, maybe when you were a child your grandfather worked in an apple orchard and he always came home with that smell in his clothes. That bite takes you back to the moment you hugged him as he stepped through the door.
When you read a book some similar things may happen:
- You read the words, savor the alliteration of some, the smoothness of others, the rhythm of the sentence sets a tone for the next one.
- You relate the words to their meanings, from which your brain now forms an image or a scene.
- That scene may also bring forth a memory, an emotion, it may open a box that you’ve not opened in a while and which will unleash waves of more memories.
For me, opening a book and starting to read means the opportunity to explore a new world full of new characters. However, these new worlds and characters will most likely take me to places that I’ve already been to, will help me see those places or memories in a new light.
Take the following quotation:
“How can we live without our lives? How will we know it’s us without our past?”
When I read those two questions in The Grapes of Wrath I closed the book for a moment because so many memories came back to me, from my childhood, from a few weeks before when I was spending some time with my friends, from years before when I was participating in a dance competition.
The power that a few words can have on us is immense if we let it. We must be open to these intrusions if you will, we can read the book superficially and we will get the message and the images created by the writing we are reading. But if we open ourselves up to being touched by the writing we are reading, we will get much more than what’s written on the page.
So, here I shall explore these Bites of Books, bites that transport me to other places, to other times, be it in my own personal life, or in other fictional worlds. I hope you will join me in these voyages and that you will be able to take on journeys of your own as well.