This article on "The Lost Art of Reading" by David Ulin was one of the top stories read in the Los Angeles Times this week. It’s no wonder. I regard Ulin as the top literary figure in Los Angeles. I think he hit a nerve with booklovers with his article about the lost art of reading.
Reading has been such a comfort to me throughout my life. I discovered Anne of Green Gables book series when my father died. I read them all, completely engrossed in the world of Prince Edward Island. The delightfully bright and upbeat little stories kept me buoyant through one of the darkest periods of my life. I have a similar feeling toward Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. I discovered that book during a particularly cold winter in Los Angeles when the heater in my apartment was broken and I was working at a job that prevented me from making arrangements to meet the repairman during business hours. The warmth and vibrancy of that book kept me going during some very cold nights. I return to both of the books often to revisit their comforting places.
There is no greater thrill than to discover a great book and find yourself completely enthralled in its passages. I think it’s no wonder that so many books are turned into movies – which is another way to discover a delicious story – alone in the dark in a room full of people.
Two of my favorite book discoveries (Julie and Julia, The Time Traveler’s Wife) are now showing at movie complexes from coast-to-coast right now. And while I’m sure more people will discover these stories there than at the library – I still think that after seeing a movie that was adapted from a book, there is no greater pleasure than to return to the source material. Do yourself a pleasure and read a movie soon.