Reader's love story begins on Valentine's Day—February 14, 2014
Our little love story begins on a cold gray day in February. It sings, it soars, it’s a blustery little codger ready to take on all the world. It ends that way too.
Not that an ending is intrinsically bad. But an ending is never particularly good either, since it is – in its essence – a parting of ways.
So instead, let us focus on the good stuff. Let us focus on the middle of this love story, the heart. It’s in the heart that all the best things happen: the gristle, the marrow, the rollicking make-you-laugh-till-you-cry amazement. It’s in the heart that boy meets girl in a secret garden tucked away inside the wilds of England; it’s in the heart a crooked-legged horse makes big on his racing talent. It’s in the heart that Minny Jackson serves up a suspiciously sweet helping of chocolate pie. All of this happens in the heart. So overall, our little love story – barring the beginning, and ignoring the end – is one big, grand affair. Maybe you understand where I am coming from, so…
It is a cold gray day in February. Morning, too. The wind is sharp, the air is thin, and the sun is weak. You stride your way through the city parking lot, bury your hands in your pockets, and tell yourself, “Thirty-four days till spring.” You repeat this mantra. Yet, something about the day catches you, draws you in…makes you reluctant when you reach your destination’s door. So you hesitate and look up, studying the cracks and chips in the sturdy old walls. Some people say the building’s undergoing a renovation – well gee, you think, that’s good. This place needs one. You contemplate the years gone by –contemplate love and loss. Soon, you find yourself lighting a cigarette – the last darn one – and sigh nostalgically while curling up against the hard gray stone like a barnacle searching for heat and comfort. You’re seeking a little warmth, a little kindness, a little…something literary…for your February 14th.
When the cigarette burns dim, you flick it to the bucket – proper-like so the workers inside don’t come buzzing out at you – and enter the library.
Cross the double doors, turn to the right, to the left…then you see her.
Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan, just released and on the New York Times bestseller list. And there, by her side – a cheeky little copy of Goldman’s The Princess Bride, which, of course, you have to pick up too. And no one should leave The Night Circus to pine alone, not on Valentine’s Day.
Soon you snatch up The Time Traveler’s Wife and Eleanor & Park. The Fault in Our Stars makes its way into your hands, quickly followed by Wonder by Palacio. You might as well read The One and Only Ivan by Kristina Applegate while you’re at it. And The Joy Luck Club. By the time you’re done, you have more dates for February 14th than is healthy. You heft your bag, tote your entourage to the checkout desk, and make it legal. Because all in all, a Reader’s little love story always ends in the best of company.
So what are your favorite books? What book, for you, has heart?
Might I recommend you check it out at your library today?