I looked through the bookshelves and it struck me that there are thousands upon thousands of word printed within the pages of my books. These are people’s thoughts, stories, heart-felt gems of creativity. There is courage and perseverance on every printed sheet. The covers are works of art.
Sometimes I’m guilty of speed reading through my books to get from one to the next, without taking the time to really appreciate the work and craft that has gone into the thing in my hands.
I pick a book at random and open it in the middle and begin to read.
“I leaned back and closed my eyes – and instantly the whole day danced before me. I wasn’t merely remembering, it seemed to be trapped inside my eyelids; the City, the traffic, the shops were all there, shimmering, merging. Then my brain began to pick out the bits it wanted to think about and I realized how the day made a pattern of clothes – first our white dresses in the early morning, then the consciousness of what people were wearing in London, the Aunt Millicent’s poor dead clothes, then all the exquisite things in the shop, then our furs. And I though how important clothes were to women and always had been.” – From “I Capture the Castle” by Dodie Smith
Here we have a wonderful description of how the main character is remembering the events of the day.I’ve read the book loads of times and never quite appreciated the words beyond getting to the point of the story.
Try this – pick a book at random, open it to any page and slowly read it. Try to work out what you like or don’t like what’s on the page – whether it’s the language, phrasing, the story itself. Make a list of words to describe the above.