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  • Patricia E. Gitt - my views on writing

reading - it's personal

There is a special relationship between a reader and a print book that, for me, does not happen on a cellphone, or screen. Reading a book online has my eye focused on the next word-paragraph-page. While holding a print book slows down the process, enabling my mind to connect more fully to ideas and passages in a more thoughtful way.

In my case a book heightens my emersion into visiting exotic places, experiencing dramatic exploits of good versus evil, or experimenting with, even exploring situations like marriage and parenthood before actually experiencing them. I can book mark passages I want to revisit, slip notes between the pages containing brief thoughts, memories or associations with my life. And even, when I have to delay finishing the book by weeks or months, these reminders quickly bring me back to where I left off.

I can get frustrated after not picking the book up in a while and forget some of the basic information in the story. For instance, when an author begins the book with a history, complicated family tree or timeline, I can use a book mark to easily locate the information, and refresh my memory before continuing on.

Why am I bringing this up? Because when I was a child, my mother would take me on pictorial journey of exotic animals, places and things. I lived in a city, so these were my first introduction to the colorful world of nature. Later, books introduced me to fascinating women who were leaders, or first in their field, thereby encouraging me to live a life free of the falsely set limitations of others.

Books had me dreaming about a lost civilization in “Lost Horizon”, a world of serenity and beauty. I could envision the hero of my dreams, strong, handsome and totally besotted by me, in “Gone With the Wind”. And even more mind expanding was visiting places only dreamed about during my school room assignments… Pompeii, the Galapagos, Antarctica, Sweden’s Ice Hotel were all accessible without leaving my bedroom.

Yes, now I could have taken these same journeys on a computerized screen, but with those early print books my Mother and I would follow each new picture with our fingers. Talk about ideas found on the pages, slowing time for our Mother/Daughter conversations. That physical contact with a book has stayed with me all these years.

Like many, once I read a book I will pass it along to a friend. One friend had not visited Edinburgh but loved the tales of Detective Inspector Rebus. So when passing along one of Ian Ranken’s mysteries, I inserted photos of places he mentioned, thereby adding to her reading experience

I am not alone. Here are some thoughts on the journey found in books, by people you may have read about.

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.” ― Walt Disney

“I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.” ― J.K. Rowling

“All I have learned, I learned from books.” ― Abraham Lincoln

“There are many little ways to enlarge your world. Love of books is the best of all.” – Jacqueline Kennedy

“One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.” – Carl Sagan

“Reading… a vacation for the mind… ” – Dave Barry

“We should read to give our souls a chance to luxuriate.” – Henry Miller


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