photo by giorgia pallaro via compfight
we all have a favourite novel. mine is invisible monsters by chuck palahniuk. the man can do no wrong in his writing (except for maybe haunted, but i’m almost positive it was just the gross-out nature of the novel that turned me off it), and i will forever recommend his work to friends, family and strangers at my bus stop.
and yet, i wouldn’t give that novel a second glance if a fire broke out.
there is only one book i own that i would grab, along with my purse and my dog, before bolting out the door. i just might even run into my burning apartment to save it, if i wasn’t there when the whole thing started (although that decision might be influenced by the fact that it is just so damn hard to find a copy of it anywhere in my city).
you know what it is? barbara sher’s refuse to choose.
my (potentially fatal) love for this book has nothing to do with an admiration or respect for the author (although i do respect her), nor the actual words printed on the page (although they are an important factor). it has to do with how the book made me feel.
reading it, i felt like someone had given me permission to breathe again, for the first time in a long time. i was reading about myself, and being given the chance to understand, accept and revel in the complexities of who i am.
yes, you could say it’s a self-help book and therefore i’m supposed to feel that way – after all, i had to have been looking for something when i picked it up in the first place. and that’s true. but before finding sher’s work, i would have laid my life down for a copy of palahniuk’s fight club – a novel.
it doesn’t matter what genre or category your book falls into. the point is that unlike other books you’ve liked, or loved, or couldn’t put down , this particular one sang out to you. maybe it tore your heart out and slowly put it back together. maybe it gave you an understanding of who you are, like mine did. or maybe it just spoke your language in a way you’ve never imagined.
whether a biography, historical fiction or the latest young adult offering, you’ll never be the same.
what is the most important book on your shelf? you know mine, i’d love to hear yours!