Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lovely Passages from the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Most recent read: City Dharma

I promised Katie that I wouldn't write about the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society until she finished reading it because it is our online reading group pick for this month. However, I could wait to share these little gems from the book in the meantime. I promise it doesn't give away the plot. Only meant to tempt you into reading the book as well because it is splendid. Thanks again to Carolyn for the recommendation.

These passages are all from letters written by the central character, Juliet:

"I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true." (p.10)

"That's what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It's geometrically progressive--all with no end in sight, and for not other reason than sheer enjoyment." (p. 12)

I adore these quotations about reading. They speak directly from one book lover to another. The first quotation is in response to a letter Juliet receives from a gentleman who bought a book of hers second-hand and found her address inscribed on the inside cover. After loving the book, he decides to reach out to its previous owner. Letters and friendships are then exchanged by a wide array of colorful characters because of that one second-hand book.

I love when I purchase used books with inscriptions. I love to imagine the previous life of my books. I recently started labeling my own books with a little sticker that has my name and e-mail address. It was meant to keep track of books I lend out, but what if it could be a means of communication between myself and the future owners of books that I part with. How delightful! Do you ever think of the past or future existence of books you collect second-hand or donate?

I also delight in the idea that certain books are almost destined for certain people. I love Juliet's thought that books find the right people, instead of the other way around. Have you ever accidently stumbled upon a book at exactly the right moment in your life? If so, please share your story. I plan to write down a few experiences of my own, and would love to make it a bit of a series. Share in the comments, if you like, or it might be fun to feature a few on the blog itself.

This also makes me think of Christine Mason Miller's fabulous 100 Books Project. If you aren't familiar with it, get thee to her delightful blog immediately. She is giving away 100 copies of her recent book, and documenting each place that they are deposited, and inviting the recipients to contact her. This has given me some ideas for a little (MUCH smaller) book project of my own. More details later.


Carolyn said...

Reading these passages makes me miss that book! I just adored it, and I'm so glad you did, too. :)

Heather said...

I loved this book! There was just something so sweet and endearing about it! Have you read the Maisy Dobbs books? Those are really fun too!

Caitlin said...

C- Yes! I absolutely adored it!! I want to read it again!

H- I know, there is definitely something special about this book! I have not read Maisy Dobbs, but I got one recently for my mom and she loved it. I've definitely been thinking about reading them soon. Is it similar?