What is that word even called?
Whatever it may be, because I’m currently flying in a 747 on my way back home to Seattle from a surprisingly rainy weekend in Arizona and I can’t reach a thesaurus or google it (because who doesn’t turn to google first anyways), that is almost what I feel right now.
I didn’t just read a good book. I lost myself in the pages of a phenomenal story where I then reflected upon myself and came away with a different outlook on life where I know, years from now, certain words and phrases inscribed in this story will resurface and bring to mind the overwhelming sensation of discovery. Discovery of a new part of me. That is what I feel.
It’s not quite the twang of abandonment you get when you regretfully turn the last page over. It’s not even the loss of focus and direction you experience after you lift your blurry eyes from the dog-eared pages and riveting words that immersed you into a different world for so long and held you captive in their many thrills and journeys. It’s not even the strange mixture of relief and regret that the suspense and tension of the conflict is over and resolved, and you’re simply sad it’s over.
No, this feeling surpasses that. As I looked up from the last page of my book, letting my eyes readjust to reality, I let out a long sigh. It’s over… But it’s not. Honestly, it’s just the beginning.
A good book leaves an impression on you, (in my unprofessional opinion). It leaves you something of value that nothing else can quite do, and that is the wisdom that comes from living vicariously through the pages of another life or world. Your imagination stretches just a bit with each new story and you’re never quite the same.
But a book that changes your life, that reaches to the very roots of who you are as a human being, that fundamentally shifts your very character, leaves more than just an impression. It brings you to act upon your new way of thinking. It consumes your mind and brings you to question what you knew before. An amazing book, is one that leaves you as a new person.
It’s a strange and beautiful thing how humans created stories and continue to this very day, weave great tales. To lose yourself in reading is a wonderful thing. To transport to a different state of being and really use your noggin’ just gives me the chills. It’s not very often that I come upon stories that have left me rendered speechless much like I am now. Thank goodness I’m on a plane anyways and have some time to recover before landing and moving on with the never ending quick lane of traffic that is life.
I’ll just simply sit here and snack on cashews while reveling in the waves of emotion that come and go. At least I can contemplate about what has shifted within me with no disturbance because this feeling, exhausting as it may be at times, is wonderful. I remember how lost I was as a young girl when Harry Potter came to an end. I remember how hard I ran to cleanse myself of the grief I felt while powering through The Kite Runner. I remember the sense of maturity I developed after finishing the series of Flowers in the Attic. These stories are just a few that have marked great areas of growth in my character over the years, and now like a tree, I’ve added another ring.
Boys in the Boat changed my perspective of not just the world, but myself and my own limits of strength, determination and willpower. It’s a hard book to match in terms of eloquence and relatablilty. Again and again, words rang true and my heart burned with passion and acknowledgment. This book left me with the feeling I suppose I can only sum up in terms like, yes…someone finally described it.