My Favorite Part of Reading

'Peasant_Woman_Resting'_by_Léon_Lhermitte,_Cincinnati_Art_MuseumWhen I wrote A World Without Books, it sent me spinning off in so many different directions I couldn’t keep track of them.

I think of a woman, working hard all day cooking, washing, taking care of her children and probably doing outside chores such as collecting eggs, feeding the goats, and working in her vegetable garden. She cleans up after dinner, gets the kids to bed and then falls into bed, only to find herself face-to-face with her Mr., who has hopeful eyes.

No matter how tired I am (and I’ve never worked a day like that one) I always try to read a little bit before I go to sleep. I want to be transported into another world. For a minute.

My favorite part of reading is using my imagination to create worlds, people and scenes simply based on the words the author has written. Most authors use a minimum of words to describe a place, knowing the reader’s imagination will take over and create the place she’s writing about. Here is an example –

This is from At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon. In the form of a letter. “Dearest Timothy, It is a good evening to sit in this pleasant room and write a letter. Correspondence is, for me, a luxury which stirs my sensibilities, especially if it be with an old friend. 

“I believe you’d enjoy the way Martha refurbished my disorderly bookshelves, and put this study in working condition. She has even had your favorite rug repaired, so that when you come again, you won’t stumble over the torn patch and go reeling headfirst into the armchair!”

Can you see much more of this man’s study than just what he’s described?  Words like pleasant, luxury, bookshelves, armchair – all good strong words that give us a feeling about this place, without having to describe it in minute detail.


A Study

This is what I love about writing. My image of his study is going to be unique, inspired by pictures of other studies I’ve seen, and even what I hope to have one day.

This is why the movie is never as good as the book. We already have an entire movie stored away in our mind. It can never compare to the movie Hollywood makes. Our mind has no budget limitations.

What kind of study did the passage bring to your mind? Share it with us in the comments.

More later,


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