As a writer, I have a ton of books. I have a five shelf bookshelf that lives in my bedroom that is cram packed full with three types of books: books I have had to buy for classes, books I buy because I think they may come in handy some day when I'm a professor, and pleasure books. (Okay, sometimes the books fit more than one of these types.) So packing up that particular bookshelf is always a pleasant walk down memory lane.
In my undergraduate career, I was blessed to have many professors that I loved and was able to bond with. I can remember exactly which books I bought for which classes and why I loved them, or at least the many pleasant memories that each of those classes has. I can pick up the book that one of my favorite teachers, and favorite writers, signed for me and I remember very well sitting in her classroom, goofing off with one of my friends - and remember that she is the reason I'm on the path I am today. Inspiration is always best when it's a person who has succeeded at what you want to do with life.
And then I picked up Lolita. It was shelved with almost every other book from the same class, but Lolita is special for me. It was reading it that really taught me to slow down a savor a novel, not just for what impact it could have on my writing, or for whatever deeper meaning other professors might want me to be able to dig out of it. But to really enjoy a book for exactly what it was - for carefully chosen words on paper that have stood the test of time. Thanks, Pamela. Thank you for teaching me that. (Re-teaching, perhaps, because surely this is what a reader does in the beginning?) Thanks for everything.