Madame Bovary is representative of a possible Highland Park woman in Dallas. If you don’t know the classic story by Gustave Flaubert: essentially a young lady cheats on her boring doctor husband. She jumps into another affair, it goes nowhere and she satisfies desires through material purchases and eventual debt. The first time I read it, I was at the tail-end of a relationship with a very well-read man. He was a bit questioning and suspicious of this book choice. He was intuitive of our demise. I will never forget the moment he walked past me, sitting on his worn, tan leather couch reading this book. He asked me what I was reading, I said, ‘oh this…classic I’ve never read before.’ The look on his face was a kind of despair. The Best TED Talk on infidelity
Every book I have ever read has been perfectly timed. Whether they are the rare superfluous or the studied historical piece, something about it resonates with me on a personal level, precisely at this moment. Maybe it’s just one line or a quote, or the whole subject investigation, or the character’s behavior…it provides a precise explanation in itself for why I find myself reading it. I make sure I get something out of it or I wouldn’t have started reading it! If I’m not ‘feeling it’, I move on. Too much to choose from, too many options…just like relationships: If it isn’t working, there are 7 billion people on the planet! I’m not saying we shouldn’t put effort and work into something or someone, but I am saying Go With Your Gut. Every person in our life has something to teach us, as each book we read has something to share. (even if it is complete disengagement: we are on vacation, we have worked hard, our brain needs a break!) But like all endeavors, stay the course till assuredness. Like people, give them a chance.
You think tv is abundant in channel choices?! And now Hulu, Netflix, Acorn, Amazon Prime shows… you can not wrap your mind around the options you have. This is why the software on specifying your individual taste is so crucial. When you like or watch something, when you order something online, when you use your grocery store card: we are never an article away from a specifically tailored advertisement, nor a tv show recommendation based on our viewing history, nor a coupon specific to our grocery buying behavior. We are on the grid.
Wrapping your mind around the books written and reading choices is even harder. Our brains aren’t capable of the visual. When you walk into a bookstore or library, don’t you feel overwhelmed? There is way more history here, whether writing material specifically, or more literally, thousands upon thousands upon years of documented behavior. We don’t even know. ISIS is currently destroying. The Nazis destroyed art and literature before them. Every war has destroyed precious material too. The origin of our species, documented by Sumerians in Egypt, fragile, mostly destroyed as well.
Your experience with reading a tangible book is still entirely your own. How you feel about the story, the character (whether you resonate or despise their behavior), what particular written lines speak to you personally, what you learn or hate or feel…everything about reading a book is an experience no ONE, no ROBOT, no Silicon Valley software, can articulate or label or diagnose or predetermine the next time you pick up a book to read.
Being in a quiet space with a book is the most private moment anyone of us can have or individualize. You can go to Half Price Books or any bookstore and pay with cash. This is your non-traceable freedom. This is your final escape. Mark my words.
Read books to your children. Read to yourself. Now is absolutely the time.
One day I will write a book. Right now, I am on the precipice of bringing you personal book reviews from my youtube channel. In hopes you will read, or i can provide the ‘cliff notes’ versions for you.