How deep do the words of others sink under your skin? How far do you carry them after you have shut the book, set it down, and walked away?
Have you ever found yourself reading a line over, not because your mind had started to drift, but because you thought,
“Yes, this. This is exactly right.”
It’s as if the writer had risen from the page and placed a hand heavy on your heart, scooped just enough right from you, and found the words, oh, the words, to make that mess into a miracle.
Some see a book marked with pencil, pages dog-eared and worn, as a sign of disrespect for the author. I disagree. Words set right send me scrambling for a pencil for underlining, or, if I must, a pen. (A pencil seems more of a quiet nod of acknowledgment, with hope that future readings won’t be affected by the current quickening of my pulse. I am torn between wanting to remember and wanting to forever be experiencing things for the first time.)
The breadth and depth of some books beg for the time with them to be approached with a certain solemnity. I have picked up books like this with the house abuzz and had to set them back down.
This is a conversation that needs to happen in private.
In the dark, after all the creatures in the house have stilled, with a single lamp lit I may pick it up again. I’ll take a moment to look over the cover, lingering with the author’s picture if there is one.
“Sit,” they seem to say, and I do. Then reaching out as if to put my hand on theirs, I open the book.
This collecting of words and phrases has led me to create a small gallery of quotes to share with you. It will be to the right side if you are on your computer, or at the bottom of the page if you visit from your phone. Clicking on an image will open the gallery so you may scroll through. All of the quotes are here in this post, too. They are all designed to be shared, so please feel free! If you hover on any one of the images, a “Pin” button will appear, allowing you to pin them to Pinterest.
What about you? Do you mark notes in books you read? What was the last thing you marked? Would you be willing to share it here in the comments?