Have you ever just needed to reread a book? I mean, have you ever just felt so overwhelmed with the real world that you long to escape once more into “fairylands forlorn” with Lucy Pevensie or Bilbo Baggins? Or maybe you prefer dances and romance with Scarlett O’Hara or Elizabeth Bennett? Or perhaps even chilling adventures with Dracula or the Phantom?
Recently, I have been having these book cravings nonstop, although, thanks to AP Literature, I find myself trapped in the intriguing but annoying world of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. (Long story short, the main character is more of an angst-ridden teenager than I am…) Tonight, however, I have a rare moment to read whatever I choose… but what shall that be? This book must be fitting for my mood and situation or else be quickly exiled back to the shelf, so instead of staring wonderingly at my bookshelf as I do too often, I am going to ramble on here for a bit, sorting out my thoughts and whatnot. So here it goes: the classification of my books in order to determine what I must reread…
First of all, there are the “Warm Hug” books, the ones you’ve read over and over until the pages are wrinkled. They have been smashed in backpacks, dropped in baths, and there is probably some food smeared inside, but despite their rumpled appearance, they are beautiful because of the good memories and simple comforts that they hold. One of my favorite “Warm Hug” books is The Mysterious Benedict Society. It is witty, exciting, but best of all familiar.
Secondly, we have the “Listening Ear” books. These don’t ask questions; they simply are. The tales they hold are like ice cream; you may not quite know why, but your mind is quieted by reading them and they just allow you to breathe. Anne of Green Gables is a Listening Book. It does not try to teach lessons or lecture; it accepts you for who you are at the moment and allows you to escape to a setting of serenity and hope.
Now we come to the “Escape” books. Sometimes you don’t need a hug or a listener. Sometimes you need to run, to punch something, to dance around crazily shouting incantations. Unfortunately, this is frowned upon in the real world, but Escape books can take you somewhere to let off some steam through a dangerous adventure. Obviously, Harry Potter is one of these.
Finally, we have reached the “Intellectuals” on their exalted shelf. These are the ones who always want to have the final say; they will not let their reader finish them without draining every ounce of literary prowess in an epic battle of wit and annotation. Most people hate these. I love them. (Like really, really love them.) I am attracted to the challenge of finding allusions, analyzing syntax, arguing meaning, but these works are not to be taken lightly. They offer no hugs, so proceed with these only when your mind is clear and itching for exercise. Frankenstein is the epitome of an Intellectual.
I have determined that I what I need is a Warm Hug book, but to my dismay, I have spent my spare moment writing this and now the Intellectual is demanding my undivided attention once more… here’s to annotations!