Monday, June 20, 2011

Return Books by....

I had an interesting experience this weekend: I gave up books I loved. It wasn't a particularly difficult thing; they weren't mine, after all. A dear relative has been one of the most helpful fellow readers, introducing me to Christopher Moore and John Connolly, who have become two of my favorite authors. She's done it again by letting me read her copy of World Made by Hand, by James Howard Kuntsler. Many years ago, she also introduced me to Michael Chabon.

If you're familiar with these authors, you'll recognize that they are three completely different types of writers. Moore writes farce and satire, Connolly has the suspenseful crime thriller (with a dose of paranormal) down pat, Kuntsler may be better known for his nonfiction writing, and Chabon is simply one of the greatest literary novelists writing today.

This weekend, I returned several Connolly novels — almost exclusively the Charlie Parker series (plus Bad Men, which has a couple Parker cameos). I suppose what was odd about this experience is that these were books I would be willing to read many times over. Indeed, I have.

But they're not my books. I've bought other Connolly books since — the later ones in the Parker series — but the ones I handed back to their rightful owner were a little different. Because, in a way, they own me. I became engrossed in the stories and characters. In a strange way, I felt enmeshed within the pages.

I know I have nothing to fear. These books are not only widely available, but I know these stories now. They're part of me.

Are there any books you would refuse to return?