Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Effects of a Great Book

A friend dropped by for tea last night and we got on the topic of books. We are both avid readers and at some point always find ourselves on the topic of great books. Andrea was telling me how much she enjoyed reading but doesn't read before she goes to sleep because she becomes so involved in the book that it becomes part of her dreams. She said that she gets so absorbed with the characters and the setting that it is like she is actually there.

I can relate and Andrea can attest to it. Years ago, I purchased a copy of the novel Cane River By Lalita Tademy; one of Oprah's Picks. The book tells the tale of three generations of slaves on a Creole plantation in Cane River, Louisiana. It was quite a long, compelling story and I had been tackling it for over two months.

I brought the book along with me during a 'girls only' weekend trip to Niagara Falls, Ontario. On route, I settled comfortably in the back of the van and dozed off for a little awhile. I awoke to hear one of my fellow travellers inquiring as to what was going in the field running parallel to the highway we were on; there was a group of about 15 individuals in the middle of the field a short distance from the shoulder of the highway. Still groggy from my mid-morning slumber, I poked my head up, peered out the window and blurted, "Picking cotton of course."

There was dead silence in the van followed by a rumble of uncontrollable laughter. Amid the laughter, I heard a voice break through the racket and point out, that "we are in Ontario, not Louisiana! We don't even grow cotton here!" Feeling a bit sheepish, I explained that I had become so involved in the book, Cane River, that when I awoke from my little car nap, I was confused and actually thought the group of people in the field were cotton pickers.

To me, that is the sign of a great read! When the author engages the reader in such an amazing tale that the reader actually feels like a participant in the story, it is pure magic!

Have you read any books that made you feel that you have become a participant in the story or a bystander witnessing the action? Drop me comment and share your experience!

Until next time..enjoy a book today.

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