I love the way that books come into your life. Some of my (now) favourite writers have come into my life in strange, unexpected ways and Letters to Véra is one such example.
I don´t actually talk about books very often (except here), for me reading is a very personal experience and so solitary (except here). Much less would I talk about favourite books, as I don´t technically have any. However, I ended up having this very conversation at work (a very un-literary place) and when forced to make a decision, I said if I had to I would choose Lolita.
A few months later, a colleague (with whom I had had the conversation) sent me a link to a Spanish newspaper which was reviewing Letters to Véra in the Spanish translation. It was the first I had heard of it and I was dying to read it. I was happy to read it in Castellano, but at the same time, I didn´t want to dilute the experience by reading it in a second language; I would worry that I wouldn´t be able to appreciate the subtleties, of which I was sure there would be plenty.
For all these reasons I asked my Mum – who was due to visit – to bring me the original edition in English from the UK. I didn´t realise how big a volume it was in hardback and felt guilty that she barely had room for clothes in her hand luggage because of it, until I saw it and began to read the blurb, then all feelings of guilt disappeared into selfish excitement.
This selfish excitement, is one of my favourite kinds of excitement! I love having a book that you just can´t wait to read; the knowledge that it is waiting for you when you have a minute, or waiting for you to get into bed at night, or hoping on your behalf that someone is late to meet you so you can grab five more minutes with it.
It was this very feeling actually – so powerful is it – that inspired the creation of “Bibliofeelia: A dictionary of reading feelings” and this exact feeling was our first entry:
1. GLEER: The special kind of excited you get when you know you are going to love a book from start to finish.
So it goes that I have only just begun to read this book (last night in fact), but despite only having read a few pages, I feel I have already taken a journey with it, had an experience, it has already nourished me and made me think. This makes me yet more excited to actually begin to read it for real.