“Stories you read when you’re the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you’ll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit.”
As someone who generally likes to hold on to books I’ve read, my bookshelf serves almost as a photo album to me. Most everything on it, as well as the bookshelf itself, conjures its own story, or brings me back to another time in my life. Various books I’ve read remain forever connected with different periods of my life; looking back at their titles I can easily recall whatever it was I was experiencing at the time I read/bought/received each book.
I’m someone who reads in spurts. For a given period of time, I’ll constantly have a book I’m reading. Then, I’ll hit a down cycle and stop reading for weeks, or even months.
Several years ago, I lived in India for six months. I brought only two books with me. But as it turned out, I had a ton of time to read while I was there. So, I read anything other travelers left behind, along with a wonderful selection sent to me mostly by my father, and a few others. When I now look at the compilation of books below, most of which I did not select on my own, it serves to bring back so much more that what is written in their pages. I am equally reminded of the feelings and memories I have of being there. I can see the details of my open-air bedroom, recall the feeling of the ceiling fan above my bed and relive the escapism that the books gave me while trying to make my way through a world that was so clearly not my own.