"Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place."
-- Unknown

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gambling and other addictive habits

When it comes to contests, I am (always have been) perpetually unlucky. You could put 10 pieces of paper in a hat, nine of them with my name and a singular, lonely strip bearing someone else’s — And you know what? Against all odds — against the very laws of probability — the name drawn would inevitably NOT be mine.

I should NEVER go to Vegas.

But the tables of chance have finally turned in my favor (and my name was only entered one time)!

Thanks to Jessica over at SouthernYankee, I will soon be the very lucky recipient of a wonderful candle, made my none other than her “Mum.”

Jessica’s mum makes an array of scents that sound amazing. She asked the winners which one we’d like, but I simply could not choose, so I told her to surprise me! I’ll definitely be back to share the (certain) good news of how great it is after it arrives.

In other news, I’ve gotten back on track with my reading and have plowed head-first into the newest Greg Iles book, Third Degree. I started it yesterday after work and have successfully managed to knock about half of it out already. It’s pure genius. It has me a nervous wreck, in the best way possible. I literally feel the anxiety of the main character; I feel that familiar twinge of panic for her as she finds herself in an impossible situation. It has me turning pages, ignoring phone calls, forgetting supper and forgoing sleep.

I hope to finish it tonight.

To me, reading has always been like a highly addictive drug (or what I’d imagine a highly addictive drug would be like, since I’ve never actually tried one). It consumes me. While I’m on my “trip,” I lose all concept of time; I have no notion of the events taking place around me. Nothing else is necessary. Not food or sleep – I get lost in an alternate reality. Some other place and time where I see vivid images of people that seem so real, I almost feel guilty of spying on their lives.

When it comes time to put the book aside and carry on with my daily life, I have a hard time functioning. In the back of my mind, I’m still dissecting the plot - trying to figure out what’s going to happen or analyzing the personalities of each character, creating back-stories and imagining different outcomes. It’s a bit obsessive. I’ve always been told I have an overactive imagination. I guess I can’t argue with that.

My favorite authors are artists. Instead of painting or sculpting, they carefully craft their words in a way that can evoke joy, fear, excitement, uneasiness and nostalgia (all in the same novel). They have an uncanny way of making their characters a perfect blend of familiarity and intrigue – relatable enough for readers to connect with, but mysterious enough to keep the interest fresh. They vibrantly describe places and thought processes, vigilantly weaving plot twists and somehow managing to pull all of the loose ends together by the end of the book (or sometimes series).

In any case, they keep me coming back for more - impatiently awaiting their next addictive masterpiece, longing to feed my inexorable habit.

Hi. My name is Heather and I’m a book junkie.


Diane said...

Congrats on your win!

I feel that way about books, too, and I love it when I find one that I get lost in. I remember reading one of the Harry Potter books (don't remember which one)... it was so good and SO long... about 700 pages. I sat at my desk all day, reading, refreshing my in-box every so often to see if I had any work that HAD to be done (I didn't) and I finished it in one day. Cool :)

Jenners said...

Loved your thoughts on reading! It is true that the very best books completely transport you and nothing else matters...showering, eating, sleeping. My husband hates when I get a really good one and ignore just about anything I can get away with. You know you have a good one when it is 500 pages long and you think "Over already?" at the end.

I feel the same about Greg Iles...I don't think I've missed on yet and I'm waiting waiting waiting for the next one. He is one of the few that I will run out and actually buy the hardback without trying to get a deal!

Hey--thanks for visiting my book blog. I'm glad to hear you found a book to read. Makes me happy! : )

Mel said...

I totally know what you mean! Every once in a while I come across a book where, even a couple of weeks after I've finished it, I think, "I wonder what so and so is doing now", like they're real people and their lives have just continued to go on even though I've closed the book. I love that.