With any luck by the time this posts I’ll be on a plane bound for Tokyo and Typhoon Lan hasn’t totally disrupted my plans. This means I won’t be able to respond immediately to comments, but I’m hoping some TKZers will join in and comment nonetheless.
I’ve been thinking about those reading moments that become etched in your mind – where you remember the exact time and place you read a particular book so that the memory itself is almost as potent as the book. This has happened to me on a few occasions – usually while I’m traveling – and it’s amazing just how vivid the recollections can still be. Like the late night flight to NYC where I read the first Harry Potter book. I distinctly remember the moment I got to Diagon Alley and just how magical that seemed. The memory is so strong I can visualize the pages of the book in the pool of overhead light.Then there was also a train ride from London to Manchester when I first read Philip Pullman’s The Northern Lights (or as it was called here in the USA, The Golden Compass) and how it felt being transported to an alternate Oxford while the English scenery whizzed past out the window. (NB: I’m hoping to reclaim this sense of exhilaration reading Philip Pullman’s latest – The Book of Dust – on the flight to Japan (or to be more accurate I will be fighting over it with one of my twins who has already disappeared off with the book to start it!).
I’ve had many flights where the book I was reading so totally consumed me that I was still voraciously reading it after landing – gripping the book until the very last moment when I had to get out of my seat and deplane. This happened to me with both Tana French’s novel In The Woods and Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity. What is surprising is why only some books provide such vivid ‘reading’ memories and yet others, just as equally good, seem to slip by – where I recollect the book but not the moment of reading it. Perhaps it’s the mark of an amazing book or maybe it’s the confluence of circumstances that make the reading part so memorable – but still it’s amazing how certain readings stay with you, while others just seem to fade away.
So TKZers what is your most vivid memory about reading a particular book? Why do you think some books inspire such strong recollections of the moment they were first read?