Never Underestimate the Power of Books.

7 Oct

The cover of Sophie Jordan's Firelight.

Over the past few days, I’ve been pondering something deep.

Deep-ish.

Okay, okay, not deep at all, but it is FUN!  Here’s a little question to start your day:

What do Katniss Everdeen, The Baby-Sitters Club series, and Sophie Jordan’s Firelight have in common?

Other than being fantastic?  Uh, not much.

Except for this: they’ve all inspired me in unusual ways the authors probably didn’t intend.  That’s not to say I wasn’t blown away in the usual ways — I was, for sure.  But…let me explain.

I don’t know about you, but when I try to think of books that have inspired me, what comes to mind are the thought-provoking ones, the ones with vivid settings and characters, the epic ones.  I think about books that are seamlessly woven, rich in detail.  The Hunger Games trilogy definitely fell into this category, and so far I’m loving Firelight.

What I don’t tend to think about are all the books that have affected me in much, much smaller ways.  Extraordinarily mundane ways.  The books I mentioned also fall into this category.

Even in early elementary school, books affected me.  I loved The Baby-Sitters Club series, and started reading it when I was about seven years old.  Those books taught me more than I give them credit for, more than I can write about right now.  One major thing comes to mind, though: family vacations, and how I sort of knew what to expect because I had read about those places.

The baby-sitters visited New York City, California, Disney World, and went on a cruise.  When it was time for family vacations to those spots, I was, like, Little Miss Tour Guide.  I knew that New York was busy and full of culture (and I knew where to find said culture), and that California was sunny, beachy, and laid-back.  I knew that we just had to ride Space Mountain and Splash Mountain when we visited Disney World.  Even last month, when we were on the cruise (and when riding Mountains Space and Splash), I found myself thinking about those books.

Clunky transition to Katniss Everdeen.  What does she have to do with anything? You may laugh at me here, but I don’t care.

I want to take up archery.

Not just in a what-if-we-someday-have-to-hunt-and-kill-our-own-food-like-Katniss?! sort of way (though, admittedly, that is part of it).  I just think it would be really awesome to do some target practice with a bow and arrow.  To be able to consistently shoot a bullseye.

I’ve already warned my dad, and plan to warn my brother-in-law: they’re so teaching me how to shoot like the Mockingjay next time I visit the ranch.  Watch out, squirrels.  I won’t be aiming for you, but that is irrelevant.  You will want to avoid me until I’m awesome.

Transition clunkily with me once again to Sophie Jordan’s Firelight.  I’m still reading it (and it is GOOD), but take a look at that cover.  One question: is that lip gloss not gorgeous?!

I now own it.  Or, at least, one that looks exactly like it.  It’s Sonia Kashuk No. 60 (called “Precious”), and it is fantastic.  That beautiful cover kept staring at me.  I had to have it.  I gave in.  And I don’t regret it.  (Side note: given its magnetic allure, perhaps I will start referring to it as “My Precious.” Hmm…)

All this to say: never underestimate the power of books.  They can shift your world-view, and they can make you buy lip gloss.

Have you ever been inspired to do or buy anything unusual based on a book you read?  If not, surely you’ve been inspired in the meaningful traditional way by a book or two.  Which books have inspired you, and in what ways?

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, this post was 100% inspired by the lip gloss.

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5 Responses to “Never Underestimate the Power of Books.”

  1. Liza Kane Thursday / 7 October 10 at 12:18 pm #

    Yay for lipgloss! And, Firelight is Definitely on my To Read List (which is becoming WAY too long for my liking…I usually have a bigger pile of Read books versus To Read, but whatchagonnadoaboutit?)
    PS
    I’m so happy I’m not the only one who thought: “Hm, well, if the World as I know it ends, and I need to battle zombies and unicorns, AND am expected to catch my own dinner, I totally need to know how to wield a bow and arrow.”
    Of course, how does one fashion a bow, anyway? Time to google, “the best types of tree branches to bend into a bow.” I know I have some fishing line somewhere, I’m sure that will work…

  2. Agatha82 Thursday / 7 October 10 at 12:56 pm #

    I’ve not been inspired to buy anything as I tend to read horror novels or vampire novels ONLY but Anne Rice’s vampire novels (the first 2) inspired me to go see New Orleans. Dracula to go to Whitby.
    However, long ago, when I was a wee girl, I watched Dark Shadows and the ring Barnabas Collins wore (a large black oval ring) got imprinted on my mind. Years later, I saw a very similar one in Miami. That was about 15 years ago, it’s on my hand right now :-)

  3. J.C Thursday / 7 October 10 at 3:14 pm #

    I once read a book about a cat called Millicent Mary. I named my cat Millie.
    Oh, and DO try archery. I was a national ranking archer back in my early teens and there is something incredibly satisfying about it. Holding all that power, lethal, precise. Or not holding as the case may be (my teachers always said to hold for 3 seconds but I never did… who needs 3 seconds to aim? honestly! lol).

  4. Megs Thursday / 7 October 10 at 7:51 pm #

    “The Brother’s Keeper” by Tracy Groot was a book that inspired me. It gave me a new awe and perspective of God that I’d never had before: that He loved ME in a personal way. I can’t even begin to describe the real idea in that book, except to say the very thought of turning the Shema backward toward us: “And I shall love Megan and Kayla with all My heart, all My soul, all My mind, all My strength”—it’s just jaw-dropping and yet it rings true to me. :sighs: Loved that one.

    Anne of Green Gables and sequels inspired me that I could write and be myself and not be afraid of that.

    There have been so many books that inspired me, but I think I’ll stop there. I too loved Babysitter’s Club, but I can’t admit to getting much but some enjoyment out of them. :)

  5. Agatha82 Friday / 8 October 10 at 2:07 am #

    Oh and I meant to say, I know Dark Shadows wasn’t a book but I’m still amused how it had such an effect on me, I have a ring like Barnabas Collins :-)

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