Tuesday, February 12, 2013

For the love of books

I happened upon drink words, a great tumbler of beautiful book images.

Reading so much, I've been thinking more about what makes a book not only good, but great. I realized I might have not given the Steve Jobs biography the praise it deserved. The story stuck with me, and I think of its bits and pieces of wisdom often. It's an inspiring work.

Another book I want to praise, is one that I picked off my grandmothers shelf, as a new teenager. It was a simple, un-wonderfully plain, turquoise, hard cover book. I didn't judge this book by it's cover, and by the first page, my nose was stuck until the end. It caused me to think and dream.

That is what a great book does, for me, it forces me to stop, fall off the edge of the world, into imagination. Creating the places where the characters walk, and where they might go when the book is closed, is one of my favorite parts about books.

The turquoise book, is called Cordelia by Winston Graham. Cordelia is a book about a woman in Victorian England, who wants independence in a society where women do not have the economic means to be so. I had chosen this book for a book report, and then chose not to turn in my homework or do my presentation, because the book ended up having infidelity, pregnancy, and suicide. Not something I was ready to discuss with a grade eight class, who was reading about Hellen Keller, Diary of Anne frank, and Harry Potter. But, it stuck with me, and I can still think back on the main character, as if she's someone I met and distantly remember. 

What are other traits, that change a book from good to great?

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