For those about to read, I salute you
When I am asked what my favorite book is, I usually hesitate. Let’s be honest – for a bookworm, it’s like asking a parent who their favorite child is, or what my favorite chocolate is. How do you choose? When pressed, and I often am, I sometimes volunteer “Dracula” because it was the first book that caused me to truly understand what the written word was capable of. Sometimes I say “Possession” because it combines historical geekiness with great literature and makes even poetry (which I normally loathe) lyrical. However most of the time, I offer up “Love in the Time of Cholera”. It’s a truly magical read that takes you to another place and time and makes you believe in the power of love. I read it for the first time many years ago. I had read “One Hundred Years of Solitude” in college, and really liked it, despite having to constantly refer to the “Jose Arcadio” family tree, because characters all seemed to have that name, and be able to talk to dead relatives. But that’s another post. Anyhow, I recall savoring, no, devouring every word on every page. When I was close to the end of the book, I was on a train heading into Grand Central Station. Tears were streaming madly down my face as I attempted to finish it before my train reached it’s final destination. I will never be more angry at myself for rushing what has to be one of the most amazing endings to a book ever. I’ve since reread it, pausing ever-so-cautiously at the ending to take more care with my reading, but let’s face it, we only have 1 first time, right?
This post comes because Oprah has selected it as her latest book club selection, certainly due in part to it’s worthiness, but also in part to a movie version coming out next month. Even if you’re an Oprah snob, and you really have no reason to be, read this book. You can surely find a version without the “O” book club logo. Feel the magic. You’ll fall it love with it. If you’re planning on waiting for the movie, don’t. You’re going to miss out on the experience of reading this remarkable work without any preconceived notions. I probably will see it, because Mike Newell is directing it, but I will be quite anxious about having my magic tampered with.
In closing, for those about to read this book, I envy you. You’re going to have a first time you’ll never forget.