Read any good books lately?” Sometimes it comes up in conversation — a question about, or involving books.
“Uhh… books. You mean reading “offline”? Do subtitles count? No? What about tabloids in the grocery line? No. Hmm… Camera manual? Flash manual? Wikipedia? Nope. OK then. Not so much.” (Divert attention). “Boy that Jack Bauer. What a trouble-maker!” I’ll admit it’s not the most eloquent segue.
On to my blog profile “favourites” list, which is over-flowing with directors, films, and music, but not one “favourite” book. Sinful. Like chocolate after midnight, it sits there taunting me. Unwritten rule: After eight, but before midnight. Otherwise, the deal is off.
You might be appalled by the fact that in the last three years, I have read a total of twelve books: Harry Potter Books 1-6, and Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles Books 1-6. That’s a mild under-exaggeration. But this is a blog. Reality is like a fuzzy ball of yarn being frantically knit into a haphazard scarf by the knitting needles of a man with aluminum hands. Meaning? Not quite sure. I’ll get back to you on that one.
Let’s break it down, shall we:
1. My book shelves are filled with DVDs and CDs, instead of books;
2. My book collection is in storage;
3. The only “book” I am “reading” is my “ibook”.
I feel it’s time to explore why in the last 3 years I’ve become “exclusive” to digital media.
Here’s the story.
Chapter One: 10 years old.
I am sitting in a special loading zone for kids traveling alone waiting to board a flight to Saskatoon to visit my dad. Around my neck is a gigantic, white plastic Air Canada required tag/bag, with the letters “UM” (Unaccompanied Minor) printed in gigantic, red letters.
Inside the tag/bag are the following items:
1. My airplane ticket.
2. My parental contact information.
3. One AC crayon packet (missing the black crayon which is an important crayon to be missing).
4. 5 packets of honey-roasted peanuts, (back when peanut-induced anaphylaxis was tolerated), which I hoarded like a mad squirrel and collected and stored in a secret compartment behind my bedroom drawers to be enjoyed at a later date. This date has yet to come. And it’s sad really because over the years I’ve developed quite a distaste for honey-roasted peanuts.
5. One small, round, plastic toy maze game. Quite a famous game now due to the fact that this particular labyrinth of fun, called the “Mercury Maze”, actually contained a real blob of mercury (back when children’s toys were not on the Hazmat ‘Most Wanted List’).
I am also carrying a small, purple duffle bag. Inside the bag are the following items:
1. Seven of my favourite animals. Like Mookie, they are all real, but magical and unconstrained by the physical laws that govern this world.
2. The paperback edition of “Doctor Zhivago” by Boris Paternak.
After being seated on the plane, I take out my book and Ricky the raccoon (because he is the newest animal and has not yet traveled by airplane). Ricky likes to look out the window. He presses his nose to the cold window and watches the sailboats on the ocean become small like toys.
After the view turns from land to clouds to sky, I start to read my book. A few seconds into my read, the man next to me says, “What a big book for such a small girl.” I smile. He continues, “What are you reading?” I turn the cover over so he can see the title “Oh! There are so many pages aren’t there?” I flip to the last page so he can see the number of pages. “Oh my. Why would you want to read so many pages?” I turn to Ricky. He doesn’t know. But Ricky can’t read. He’s a raccoon. I smile and start to read my book again.
What happened next? Go to Part Two of this in-depth analysis.