I remember waking up one Christmas morning and ‘Santa’ had left a box of Roald Dahl’s novels in front of my room. I was overwhelmed and ecstatic by the sheer number of books. If kids today have JK Rowling and Rick Riordan, I had Mr. Dahl. What fascinated me the most about his work was the magic of his worlds. From the innocence of a big friendly giant, to the delicious but slightly disgusting peach of James–the possibilities of a child’s imagination seemed endless. Nothing was ever too small or big for Dahl to bring to life through words.
I guess you could say until today, I am building my personal assortment of Christmas Morning book collections. That and the fact this post is inspired by the Fully Booked sale and my friends stumbling onto a book that I never seem to find when I look for it (You Shall Know Our Velocity! by Dave Eggers)…but I had them buy it for me anyway. I had almost lost hope, not seeing any copy of that Eggers book in Fully Booked Greenbelt. Who would have thought, an hour later, Johna and Jabin would be in another bookstore of another nearby mall that had the one copy I was looking for. My grown up version of that morning came in the beauty of chance, two of the bestest book friends anyone can have and the reality that my booklist never seems to have a final count. Plus, of course, the irresistible power of a book sale. I can now continue my love affair with Kazuo Ishiguro with my new purchase of When We Were Orphans.
Back in college, I sometimes felt like studying got in the way of my reading. But now, I have weekends and moments of waiting in between commutes and outings to vanish into another world built by my favorite authors. Nothing suffers, (well maybe my bank account, but that’s always manageable with a little extra work)—plus my words seem to flow more freely when I write after reading—as if my vocabulary, style, and syntax are hung over from the fluidity and beauty of that author’s prose. An inspired aspiration perhaps, to one day reach that level and gift the world with literary beauty.
Waiting for the next sale and holding back from buying for the sake of food, water, and transportation is not as wonderful as waking up to that Roald Dahl Christmas morning. I have grown up since then, seeking worlds more like the one around me. I’ve gone from seeking new worlds to gaining new insights about the crazy one we live in. Once in a while, I return to the boundless imagination of magic and mythical gods, thanks to the talents of Rowling and Riordan. The passion, and unquenchable want for a written world—whether realistic or fantastic—has and will stay with me, whether I’m trying to recapture a child-like book collection or fulfilling a more adult version of book lust.