|Reading outside in the sun today!|
I watched a documentary on J.D. Salinger on Amazon Prime, which I get free with my Amazon Prime membership. I've been watching lots of documentaries lately, especially about authors.
J.D. Salinger was a recluse. He lived in his own world and did things his own way. On the outside it might have seemed crazy, but to him perhaps it was perfection.
I had never read The Catcher in the Rye. It was never required reading for me in high school or college, even though I studied literature/writing in college. Suddenly, after seeing this documentary, I had to read it. I immediately ordered myself a copy of The Catcher in the Rye from Amazon.
It was a tiny paperback book with the title in a 50s-looking font. It had an orange cover with a carousel horse on it.
At first, it was hard to read and I couldn't understand for the life of me why this book was a sensation. Every other word in the book was goddam. But then something happened. I let go of my ideas of what this book should be and entered the scene. I went for a ride with this author. I was part of the story.
For the last few days, I could not put the book down. It was a coming of age story of Holden Caulfield. Nothing was going right for him. He got kicked out of school, he got beat up, he didn't fit in, but he could only be and think who he was at that time. He definitely could not pretend to be anyone else. In fact, the entire book was a comment on how people in society, at that time, were just pretending or acting out their parts. The word phony was used dozens of times.
Yesterday I had so much to do, but I didn't do anything I was supposed to do.
I pulled two chairs together and made a makeshift lawn chair. I got myself a drink from the kitchen and I sat in the front yard in the sun for two entire hours reading The Catcher in the Rye.
I forgot where I was.
I forgot who I was.
I forgot I had things to do.
A good book will do that to you.
Finally, I pulled myself together. I got my wits about me and got to work and taught my classes and it went really well.
But I wouldn't have done it differently. It was perfect. A perfect afternoon in the sun with an excellent book that took me awhile to warm up to.
It made me want to read more and write more. So here I am.
Have you read a book recently that made you feel good, made you think or made you change your mind about something? What was it?