Have you ever been asked “What is the one book you’d read over and over again without getting tired of it?” (If you’ve answered “No” that’s probably because I’ve never interviewed you!) No, this isn’t a trick question, I’m not looking for a professional development answer, I am looking for an honest answer. Although this can be confusing, and often, I have to explain why I ask this question but, I find this is a great insight into who you are. Plus, it’s a great way for me to expand my library! (I’m always looking for more suggestions! Comment below!)
Now that you’re thinking, you’re probably racking your brain. One answer I was given once was “I can’t tell you the last time I read a book.” My heart broke. I felt sick, and sad. How can you not remember the last time you read a book? We read all the time! Blogs, Facebook, Internet Articles, Online Newspapers, Instagram captions, Tweets, everywhere! So let me ask you this- What was the last book you read? What emotion did THAT specific book spark? Can you tell me just a summary? Would you recommend the book to other people? Why/why not?
When it comes to Clareity and a piece of Clareity, anyone who knows me, knows me well enough to answer this question. What is the one book you’d read over and over again without getting tired of it? Simple. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. A story learning, the human spirit, recognizing differences, acknowledging personal internal conflict, growing up, making friends (young, old, black, white, male, female), and learning “It is a sin to kill a mockingbird.” The prose is easy to read, can really absorb you into the nuances of what it was like back then.
There’s something about the perspective of Jean Louise “Scout” Finch that captures the concept of internal struggle. She’s learning just exactly what it means to grow up in a world of difference, while navigating the societal standards set on her by her neighbors in Maycomb. Almost as if Maycomb was stuck in time, Scout, Jem and Dill all offer different traits to build the plot’s intensity, adding layers of complication onto an already complex situation. By living and being children, yet the town/life around them may continue, but, the clock seems to slow down, and the kids are living in their own “world.”
The book goes beyond the surface for me. Every time I pick up the book (or read it on vacation), I learn something new about the book or myself. This could be part of that “in a different phase of life” aspect, or just the concept of opening your mind to pick up a new lesson. I believe everyone should read this story both in the 7th/8th grades, and later on again as an adult. The story transcends the 8th grade literature. Rather, the story brings to light emotions and other current issues that are going on in the world.
We all have a story that means something to us. The power of this prose really does make me think. I always need something to ground me and bring me back down from my “high horse” and when I need to be reminded that there’s more than just what’s happening today. I have become so “obsessed” with the book that when I travel, I buy a copy to bring with me, and when I finish the book, I usually leave it behind for someone else to read. (I’ve left many a books like that- the gift of reading is highly important to me.) I’m sure the Mr. can remind you that I left a copy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin on an IcelandAir flight from Paris to Reykjavik once before. Upon landing, I purchased Pride & Prejudice. (left on a flight from Reykjavik to NYC).
To Kill a Mockingbird really helps provide me with the perfect definition for the term “history repeats itself.” What was happening back in the fictional town of 1930s Maycomb, Alabama, is happening today, 2016, worldwide. We are all struggling with difference and acceptance- there has been progress, but at the same time, we are like Scout, learning that progress is one person at a time. If you haven’t read this book recently, I recommend you go out and get yourself a copy. Read it as your current self, in this current moment in time. Don’t reflect back on the last time you read the book, focus on the now. You will be amazed at exactly what you have learned/experienced since the last time you read. Take time out of your day, each day (even 10 minutes) to sit and be present with the book. Focus on the story, and you’ll be surprised just how much you can/will learn.
What’s the one book you would read over and over without getting bored?
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