A second guest post! The writer has requested that his name not be used. However, my regular readers will know him as DB, or Dearly Beloved, amazing mover of books and builder of bookcases. Read on, and enjoy:
Hello Bookworms! As an ageing sports jock I felt compelled to open with such a line. I write this guest blog with a heavy heart. I was invited to be my partner’s first ever guest blogger a few weeks ago. You can imagine my shock and disappointment to find that without prior notice, my guest spot had been given to another, and to compound my ever enlarging sense of loss, I was passed over for one of her bookworm friends. The politics! The injustice! Ohhhhhh… how the heart aches!
I love books, always have. I have particular affection for old books. The covers fascinate me. I love the colours, the textures, and the sense of history that overwhelms you when you hold one in your hands. But most of all, I love the way they smell. Yes, I am that strange man you will find at the back of the second hand book store sniffing the books. Forget it, your disapproving glares will never stop me!
My problem has never been a lack of passion for books, it has been more the fact that I like to look at them, touch them (smell them) but not read them. How strange it is to find myself waking every morning next to a pure academic and one of the most disciplined book readers I have ever met. Who the hell gets out of bed at 5.30am every day to read a book? Normal people go for a run, ride a bike, drink coffee, or read the paper to start their day.
Over the last three years, my partner has made numerous attempts to have me read a book, with little or no success. Three weeks ago, after much prodding, I finally relented and agreed to read a book that she assured me I would love. She handed me a copy of The Black Stallion, by Walter Farley. I looked at her confused. This was a children’s book. I am very much at home in the boardrooms of multi-national companies, and she hands me a children’s book? Should I be offended? She ever so lovingly explained that I was on my bookworm ‘L’ plates. This wasn’t ‘L’ plates…this was training wheels!
Sitting in my office, about to open my first email for the day I decided to read the first page. This quickly led to the second, third, fourth and many more. I was hooked. It was like a drug. I couldn’t stop. Oh, I tried to give it up. I tried to answer emails. I tried to return phone calls. I tried to be the responsible businessman the world believes I am. I couldn’t do it, I simply couldn’t. I realised I truly had a serious book problem when I cancelled an afternoon meeting just so I could continue with the book. I had to know what happened next. I just had to! Is there an outreach programme for book junkies?
Later that afternoon, I was finished. I sat quietly at my desk reflecting over the magical journey I had been on. You could tell this book had been written some time ago, in an era where society was far more refined and elegant than it is today. At face value, a book about a boy and his horse appears to be such a simple story. What Walter Farley offers is an invaluable piece of social commentary. My only regret was that it had to end. What now?
There must be a God! Apparently there was a sequel with the completely original and unexpected title of…The Black Stallion Returns. This book is just as captivating and exciting as the first, although, it did take me three days to finish. Unfortunately I had to do some work. Pesky clients. All I can say is, embrace your inner child (for me that’s not too hard), throw away your inhibitions and run naked through a field, climb a tree, build a sand castle or perhaps…simply sit down and read these two gorgeous books with a lovely glass of red wine.
I can’t express in words what a wonderful experience I have had. I would like to thank my beautiful bookworm blogger for the brief interlude into her unique world. I will continue to read, strictly from the children’s section of her bookcases of course. Above all, I will continue trying to come to terms with the fact that I will forever be her second choice guest blogger. This will be a struggle, although a very large home made apple pie with my favourite vanilla bean ice cream may help ease the pain…just a little.