Monday, June 15, 2009

Books in time

I tend to have odd associations between places I've been and the books I was reading while I was in those places.

Most recently, when Jon and I were getting onto the interstate after a time trial just outside Shelbyville, KY, I had an intense recollection of Neil Gaiman's American Gods, which I had been reading the last time we were in Shelbyville for a bike race. We were on the merge lane, a scrappy bit of pavement with humps of broken asphalt littering the shoulder. I glanced at the grass and scrubby bushes bordering the lane, and the black and green cover of American Gods popped to mind, down to the part of the book I had been in the last time we were on this merge lane (the protoganist had died and was making his way through the underworld before being called back).

Here are some other associations I have:

Whenever I pick up my tattered, yellowed 1970s paperback copy of The Fellowship of the Ring, I am mindful of my parents' family room: the beige walls, nubby carpet, couch with the faintly plaid pattern. The window by the couch is covered with green ivy, and what light comes through is pale, weak with rain.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows goes hand in hand with our old living room from South Broadway Park. I remember tracking the progress of the sunlight across the hardwood floor every time I looked up from the book when I was reading it for the first time, and so this book comes with connotations of hardwood warmed with light, patterned by the shadows of leaves.

That's all I can remember for now. Until I pick up the next book.

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