It was Jo March who said,
“Some books are so familiar that reading them is like being home again.”
Last night I was watching the movie Little Women, and though I’d read the book years and years ago when I was still a school girl, last night was my first time watching the movie. I always identified with Jo March, second eldest of the March girls and an avid dreamer, writer and a tomboy at heart, just as I was in school… still am. So watching Winona Ryder bring the jolly Jo alive for me years after having read the book was like a peek into those old days.
But when Jo (Ryder) said the above quoted line, that’s when I felt this tug in the pit of my belly, and this sudden emptiness swamped me, that made me miss my favorite books. There is so much truth in that one line! Anybody who has been an avid reader or has enjoyed a book in particular will know and agree that we form attachments with these books so deep that they feel like real people to us; or such necessities of life, that we can’t part with them unless we absolutely and unfortunately have to.
Jo had meant it for Shakespeare. I mean to say it for those two books that I’ve always gone back to whenever I seek comfort – Far From the Madding Crowd and Gone With the Wind, that taught me that life comes full circle, and that strength of character (through Melanie’s and Gabriel’s characters) and determination (through Scarlett’s character) are the two things you must possess to survive in this world.
These two books made a deep impact on me in my growing-up years. Its as if they were a sort of watershed in my reading life, where before them were books that I read only to entertain myself, and after them, I read only to gain and to learn from books. So when I need to center myself or when I just want to recall why I love reading, I return to these books. To these lines specifically –
‘After all, tomorrow is another day!’
‘When a strong woman recklessly throws away her strength she is worse than a weak woman who has never any strength to throw away.’
‘Burdens are for shoulders strong enough to carry them.’
‘Love is a possible strength in an actual weakness.’
‘Perhaps – I want the old days back again and they’ll never come back, and I am haunted by the memory of them and of the world falling about my ears.’
‘O, how I wish I had never seen him! Loving is misery for women always.’
And my favorite from Gone With the Wind –
‘Death, taxes and childbirth! There’s never any convenient time for any of them.’
Unfortunately I don’t have the time to re-read them, so I’m just skimming through, quickly taking in the beauty and the pain of those words and remembering what it was like to have first read them.
And so the point to this post, dear readers, is this –
Post your favorite book that reminds you of home,
or of good things,
or has taught you something profound,
and leave a quote from the book in the comments section below.
Let the reminiscing begin…
In response to the Daily Prompt Word – Jolly
Copyright ©2017 Pradita Kapahi.
All rights reserved.
Image Credits: Pradita Kapahi, 2017.