Saturday, April 19, 2014

Day 16

Ok, first of all, I lied. I took a photo of my iPad screen again. Seriously, this whole project is just going to be one big collage of what's happening on my iPad each day. Lame.

Second, this is a super duper weird subject for a happy day post. Just bear with me here. It might not make sense to you, but it makes sense to me.

Over the past week or so, Josh and I have been reading The Book Thief together. That alone is reason enough for a happy post. I've been having a good time lately reading with Josh. We pick a book, read it at the same time and then we discuss it, and so far we've read books that have been made into movies, so then we see the movie together. That makes me happy for a number of reasons. I love to read, I love sharing my love of books with my kids and I love that Josh is old enough now to read grown up books and  we can read a wider variety of books together. All of those things make me happy.

But today my photo is specifically about The Book Thief. I'm not quite done with it, we'll finish it up today, but I have LOVED this book. But the reason it's a weird subject for a Happy post is that it's a book about WWII Germany, narrated by Death. Yep, Death. (By the way, nothing I have said, or will say, is a spoiler. It's all stuff you can read on the book jacket or at the beginning of the book.) Death is telling the story of a young foster child in Germany during the war and how books change her life and the lives of the people around her. For someone like me, who has a great appreciation for books, I understand her fascination with them. In the book, books were hard to come by for a poor foster girl in that time period, especially since many of them were banned, so the way she comes across them and how they change her is a beautiful story and it was beautifully written.

I appreciate well written phrases. Sometimes when I'm reading I come across a well written description of something or a phrase that is particularly well written and I go back and read it over a few times, just because I like the way it sounds. I just want to let it sink in a little bit. I like the emotion it brings with it or the vivid picture it creates in my head.

This book has done that for me a lot. The further I get into it the more I am just devouring the pages. I like the way it's written, I like the descriptions of things, I like the little asides that Death gives about what it's like to be Death and have to collect all those poor souls during WWII.

I mean, I don't believe in a guy in a black robe with a scythe who comes to collect us when we die (although the Death in in the book claims he doesn't carry a scythe and only wears a black robe when it's cold, lol) but I like the vivid picture of him that the author has painted, and what it is like for him to constantly see death and have to collect the souls of those who pass. When we do think of "death", we tend to think of it as a scary thing, but the book has painted the idea of death as something gentle. Death cares about us and gently carries us away to a safe place. I like the picture that creates for me, especially in a book about WWII, where death was such a horrible gruesome thing.

Because I can kind of be an intense person at times, I don't read things, I ingest them. I don't read a book, I crawl right into the pages and live it. This is a book that has sucked me in for so many
different reasons. It's just a novel, not a true story, but it's based on a real events in world history and reading about how hard it is for the main character to get her hands on a book and how grateful she is for the ones she gets reignited my love of books. I have a whole stack of books I haven't gotten around to reading yet and hundreds more on shelves and in boxes. This book is making me realize how we take things like that for granted. Books are very accessible to me and sometimes I forget what a luxury that is. This book has reminded me to be grateful to live in an age where I can download a new book in two minutes and that the government doesn't tell me what I can and can't read.

It has also reminded me to be grateful for my freedom. I've always had a special interest in WWII history and every time I read a true story or novel based on that time period, it reminds me how lucky we are for our freedom and for the ability to come and go as we please and choose our own paths in life. I think we all take that for granted sometimes.

So today a book about WWII, narrated by Death, made me happy, lol. But what really made me happy was my love of books and the fact that this book reminded me how much I have to be grateful for.

And to add to the oddness of this happy post, I took a photo of a descriptive paragraph in the book that made me go back and read it several times and then read it to Shawn because I liked how it was written. It's Death, talking about what it's like to do the job of collecting souls during a war.

I know, it's in no way happy, but it makes sense to me. (and also, I'm reading the book on my iPad, hence the photo, which I swore to myself I wouldn't do anymore. Tomorrow, I will start tomorrow.)

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