The Perfect Book

There’s something about books that appeals to me. The scent, the touch, the power it gives to the imagination to run wild while still being held back by the boundaries of the story; but I think it mostly comes from this kind of high you get when you read a really good book, the need to devour every page as if this is the last thing you’ll ever get to know in life, so you get eager as pages turn under your fingertips, eager to know what experience comes out of it; and yet you feel the need to take it slow, to print each word unto your brain, to stain your memories with this simple and yet so complex feeling that a good book gives you. I make it sound like it’s some sort of drug, but honestly, if books were a kind of drug, then reading would be my addiction.

When you find the perfect book, the one that suits you, the one you always find yourself going back to, it’s hard to let go. Closing it is like losing a friend, yet you know it will always be here waiting for you to pick it up again, to turn the pages, to reunite with the part of yourself you left somewhere in between them. The worst part is the urge you get to share the book with everyone you love, but at the same time it is your piece of heaven, your secret place, something so precious and valuable that you wouldn’t give it up for the world. I believe the best books are the ones that not only make you cry, laugh or feel alive, but also the ones that makes you believe you’re a part of the story as if you were watching the scenes from afar. When you become the only witness to the magic going on inside those rectangular pieces of paper that seem so simple and naive from outside but full of life and incredibly moving once you open your heart to them, that’s when you know it is The One.

Author's copy of Grace by Jan Butlin
One of the best books on Earth…in my opinion.

To me what symbolizes best “The One” is Grace by Jan Butlin, a book I borrowed from my mother. When I borrowed it, it was already in bad shape from being read so many times in the past. She bought it when she was in her mid-twenties – so about twenty years ago – and at that time it was a best seller. Nowadays, I have a hard time finding anything about the book online, reviews or anything. It seems like it has been forgotten in time, which is a shame considering this is a very inspiring, lesson-teaching, heart-warming, interesting story. Seeing how today Hollywood people seem so quick at jumping on any chance to make a box office movie out of a best seller, it really saddens me that no one is paying attention to the masterpiece that is Grace. On the other hand, I have to admit I feel a bit relieved that it hasn’t been turned into a movie yet, and that it is such an underrated book because no one can ruin it for me, it will remain the same perfect part of my personal history. Whenever I read it, I always find something else to fall in love with, probably because I grow up and I change – and my view on the world and some issues that are addressed in the book change as I do – thus helping me understand better Grace’s choices compared to when I was younger, which gives me a whole new reading experience. I believe this book helps me get through life and shape me as a person, and if you to find a book that will do the same, never let it go, bring it everywhere and keep it close to your heart.

As Ursula K. Le Guin said: “We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel… is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.”

First published on my blog

2 replies on “The Perfect Book”

And this is why I’ll be reading books for as long as I’m able (and continue to listen to audio books after that). Because every time there is a possibility to be swept away, fall head over heels in love, be shocked and moved by one collection of ink and paper.

It’s an addiction I’ll never give up.

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