Two of my best reading memories are reading books on an airplane. What is it about reading on an airplane? I’m not sure, but for me I have the chance to let go of reality for a little while and dive into a new world as I read the words on the page. Maybe it’s lowering my head and focusing my eyes on the text, and before I know it the plane ride is over and we’re landing. Perhaps it’s because it helps the time pass by quickly. I like to think it’s because I’ve become so involved and engrossed in the setting, characters, and plot that I feel like a part of the story. I’m the fly on the wall observing the characters. I’m a bystander on the road scoffing at the decisions the main character just made. I’m becoming the character, catching my breath as the events unfold.
The two stories that I have the best memories of (when reading on an airplane) are The Street Lawyer by John Grisham, and a biography of Harriet Tubman (I wish I knew which one so I could give credit to the author who captured my attention, and held it for the course of the book!) The Street Lawyer was the first John Grisham book that I had read. I felt like I was right along side Michael Brock as he faced dangers and difficult decisions. This book had the “so what” factor. He was almost a partner in the law firm. “So what?”- 9 lawyers are taken hostage. “So what?”- Michael goes after his attacker. “So what?”- Michael gains enemies and faces tough decisions. “So what?”- I want to read more!!
The Harriet Tubman biography was a great resource on her life and all that she experienced. I learned so much about her life and all that she endured as a slave. As I read, I almost felt like a slave she was helping in the Underground Railroad. The “so what?” factor in that book was that I wanted to learn more about what happened to her. The more I learned, the more I wanted to read.
Well-written books should capture your attention. You should be able to “make a movie in your mind” as the story unfolds. You should feel like the fly on the wall, the bystander making judgements, and perhaps feel the emotions the characters are experiencing. You should be able to find the “so what?” in the book. What makes the book “so great” and makes you want to read more?
What’s your favorite reading memory?