Last month, I saw the attached photo about books and memories. I immediately began thinking of the books I’d want to experience for the first time. These included my favorite books from childhood, the Harry Potter series, A Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, among endless others.
But when I though about it further, I’m not so sure.
If I erased my memory of, say, A Little Princess or From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, wouldn’t I then also lose what I learned from reading those books. Wouldn’t I lose my memories of what they made me think about and how they helped me grow?
It’s like traveling through time: We might think, maybe I could go back and “fix” some things. But probably, we’d just end up creating a whole other set of problems. So unless I could time travel back to myself at age seven reading A Little Princess for the first time and live life all over again, I’m not sure I’d like to have my memory of reading the book wiped after all. Except that doesn’t make sense either because then I wouldn’t remember that I was re-reading it for the first time, would I? So what would be the point, really?
I guess what I’m saying is, the only way we can move is forward. So I’m going to do my very best to treasure the beautiful moments knowing they’re *once in a lifetime* experiences. I can’t experience them again for the first time, but I can continue to be inspired by them.
On a dreary day, literally or figuratively, I can dip into my favorite books, and I’ll know just where to find them. Not literally. My bookshelves are a mess. But I can dip into my memories of how a book made my heart feel light and my soul feel nourished with hope for humanity. I can dive back into those pages knowing I’ll meet a trusted friend and mentor there.
How about you? Are there books you return to for inspiration, comfort, hope?