I am a reader. I have always been a reader. I treasure books like others treasure jewelry,exotic stamps, rare coins. I grew up in a home of readers and cut my teeth on James Michener, Irving Wallace and even Harold Robbins. I was taught to think of a library as reverently as a church.
I love good fiction but am not opposed to really well written non-fiction. I don't care for Sci-fi, but am open to almost anything else. My current leanings are mystery (from the essential comfort of a cozy to the gritty darkness of crime novels), fantasy (from faeries to vampires), and chick lit. But most of all, I love a well written novel.
Because I am a reader, I tend to skim; to read fast and skip extraneous narrative. I sometimes feel guilty for doing this, thinking of the time and effort the author must have put into the work, but there are other things to do, other books to read, and so I skim.
And then, once in a blue moon, I encounter a book so beautifully crafted that I find myself devouring each word and phrase and going back to re-read favorite paragraphs. Cry, the Beloved Country was one such book. All Over But the Shoutin' was another. And I currently find myself mid-way through yet another.
Words--ordinary words--organized and composed so as to create emotion and experience. Words we ourselves use on a daily basis suddenly so elegantly presented as to make us feel smarter and better for having read them. One must savor these experiences; take them to heart. These books...these gems...are rare and lovely and worthy of esteem and must be shared.
I offer to you today The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.
I encourage you to pick it up and read the first fifty pages. I believe you will be as impressed as I.