Welcome to the April edition of How I View…, a monthly project I feel so lucky to work on with a group of talented photographer friends. Each month we feature an interpretation of a different theme and this month’s theme is literature. I’ll be honest, this month was tough for me. I do most of my reading on my ipad these days and who wants to see pictures of that?? So I went with someone who has plenty of books in his library- Liam.
Liam loves to read. He always has is nose in a book and stays up way past his bedtime reading. He’s been really into Lemony Snicket lately and I’m sure he’ll devour the most recent book the Easter Bunny brought him in no time. I went into his room to check out his bookshelf and found a few books that I read when I was his age! Sideways Stories from Wayside School?! I loved that book! And Goosebumps?! I was more of a Christopher Pike fan but R.L Stine was never not awesome, too. He has a few C.S Lewis books that were Jake’s as a boy that stay on his shelf as stand-by reads when he’s out of new books. I love thinking about Jake as a boy reading them and not even realizing that in 25 years, his son would be holding those same books in his hands. He is just like I am- checking out 10 books at a time at the library, reading them one after the other and asking me to take him back in a week for more. I hope his love for reading continues and he makes time for it as he gets older and more cool things (like girls and hanging out with friends) come along.
Back when Jake was in his early 20s, he went through an old book phase and we have a collection of about 15 old literature books. My favorite is this copy of Romeo and Juliet from 1925. It’s pretty beat up but Sacramento High School took good care of it until it ended up in the used book store.
I think about Harold and Katherine reading it in 1925 for their English class and then wonder if Vic had to check it out for that same class. 22 years is a pretty long time but it could be possible that they all had the same teacher! Katherine checked it out in June- a summer school read maybe?
I love this one because Margaret wrote all sorts of things in the margins. Look at that teeny tiny handwriting! I can’t even make out what it says without my glasses and she’s written everywhere in this book. It’s so interesting to me to just daydream about who she was and what her life was like while she read this book. Was she at UC Berkeley’s football game against the Santa Clara Broncos that month? Did she have family in the war? Had she lost anyone close to her? All questions I’ll never know the answers to but I have this piece of her history on my shelf.
We’ve started collecting our own books as a family- some good, some great, some not even close to good, but they’re ours. I have such a hard time giving away books once I’ve read them. I can get so emotionally invested in a character, and I see my kids having that same reaction and love it. Reading is so good for us. So good for our minds and spirits. It’s nice to lose yourself in a book and forget about the bills you have to pay (or homework you have to do in my kids’ case), chores you have to do, places you need to go. To shut out everything around you and just read the words on the page and let them loose in your head. It’s just wonderful.
Please continue on to Erika Leitch of Fargo’s Erika Leitch Photography to see how she views literature in her life!