Saturday, 6 June 2009

What book would you become?

Lisa Roe at Online Publicist invited me to read her guest post, found here. It's on a new to me blog, called As Usual, I Need More Bookshelves. Now, tell me, isn't that a great title for a blog? The idea of the post is taken from Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. I quote directly from Elizabeth on this post: 451 Fridays is based on an idea from Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. In his novel, a group of people (Bradbury calls them Book People) are trying to keep the ideas found in books alive. Instead of actually saving the books, the Book People each "become" a book - memorizing it, word for word, and passing it down to the next generation.

451 Fridays asks what books you feel passionate about. What book do you think is so important that you would be willing to take on the challenge of "becoming"?

Now, it's not Friday today, but I don't care. I think this is a fun discussion, and certainly one I played around with in my head when I finished Fahrenheit 451: what book would I 'become?" I think back then I thought of Shakespeare, and Anne of Green Gables, and then became too depressed at the idea of burning books - 0f losing books - to continue in that vein. But Elizabeth has let Lisa choose 5 books, and I thought that this would be interesting. If I could save 5 books, what would they be? And if I could become one, which one would I become?

Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery - because this story of the Orphan Girl, teaches everything about life, and life 100 years ago in Canada. It has everything and most of all, love.

Middlemarch - George Eliot - simply one of the best novels of the English language.

The Haunting by Shirley Jackson - one of the best ghost stories, and we'd need to tell ghost stories at the end of the world, too.

Fear of Frying - James Barber - I'm stealing this from Lisa, who picked the Joy of Cooking as a cookbook she'd save. Fear of Frying is a cookbook containing, you guessed it, only recipes for a frying pan. Essential, in my opinion, since if we are talking about a world where we have to become books, the art of cooking might be lost too. This one would be indispensible for it has every kind of food and even a few freebies that aren't frying pan recipes - salads, vegetables, and dessert. MMMM. Plus, he's a Canadian author, and lived on a sailboat in Vancouver's harbour, so he actually lived on these recipes.

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen. I could hardly not save one of hers, could I? Besides, I could get to tell and retell Elizabeth and Darcy's great love affair.

I think the problem I have with this is that there are so many books I would want to save. And if I could become only one book, what would I choose? How could anyone make a choice like that? It's one of the most gripping moments in Fahrenheit 451, when we the reader see one of the characters say to another, remember, and they begin quoting - no, repeating the book they have chosen. They carry the books with them. I would want to make sure every important book got picked to be saved, and then I'd come along and chose from what had been forgotten. Shakespeare, To Kill a Mockingbird, poetry - so much poetry to choose! Would I pick something I loved, or something I thought was precious and shouldn't be lost?

I think I might pick The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. Everything we know, where we begin from, is found in fairy tales and myths. So long as we have tales to tell, the human race can remember, and go on.

Though, I'm tempted to become The Fear of Frying, as well, just so I could make food for everyone no matter where I was or what was at hand.

So, what 5 books would you choose to save? Can you choose just one to become?

Darn, I just remembered about Coraline. It's a tiny book. Maybe I could squeeze it in after the Fairy Tales.....


Today I Read said...

That is a tough choice to make. Right now my head is on fire with possibilities.

I couldn't pick just one, but when I first read the question Pride & Prejudice popped into mind.

I finally read the book for the first time this year (I know, I'm so behind the curve) and I absolutely fell in love.

I'd tried reading Austen before starting with Sense & Sensibility, but it didn't grip me right away. Obviously I started with the wrong story.

Now I'm off to ponder this question a bit more. Wow, which book would I become...

Thanks for the thoughtful post.

Ann-Kat (Today, I Read...)

DesLily said...

I think the book anyone would choose to become would be the book you go back to again and again... for me that would be the Pern books by Anne McCaffrey. Although I've read others over and over, the people and land that Anne made with her dragons and dragonriders most interest me.. probably because there are no cities.. only villages build in the forests.. I love trees and rock and creeks and that would suit me. Being the dragons are "friendly" would suit me too.. I would be most impressed that something so huge could be so "loveable" and kind and helpful.
When my time comes to die.. I hope I go there.

jspeyton said...

Just stopped by to let you know you've won an award! =)

Cath said...

That's a tough, tough question but I think I might choose Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier. Why?Well, it's about Cornwall and it's a beautiful book.

Bybee said...

1. We Have Always Lived In The Castle - Shirley Jackson

2. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

3. Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurtry

4. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

5. The Velveteen Rabbit -author? (I got tired after saving the previous 3 books!)

Susan said...

Today I Read: Hello! thanks for dropping by, I'll come visit your site shortly. Thanks so much for commenting, I love that you picked P&P. And don't worry about how long it took you to read it - my sister just read it last year too, because of my blog! - and she's in her 40's :-D I think it's more important that both of you discovered you could read and enjoy Jane Austen!

Deslily: this answer is so you! Wouldn't that be wonderful, if somewhere in the universe, there did exist the universes that books contain? I know this comes up often in blogs, but I think it's a good question, worth pondering. and I can so see you as a dragon, too!

JS: I'll come get it! Thank you!!!

Cath: I'm going to have to read this book. You've mentioned it often before. I've read Rebecca years ago, but not Frenchman's Creek. You might convince me to give it a try! lol and between you and my husband and Susan Cooper, I really want to go visit Cornwall one day....

Bybee: oh good, between you and me the best of Shirley Jackson is being saved ! lol And I forgot about Little Women. I dont' know why I do now, because I loved it as a child and read it many times. and The Velveteen Rabbit. Lovely choices, book-twin!