Anyone who’s ever been to my house could see that I love books. I must. I have shelves and stacks of beautiful books. Cook books, coffee table books, encyclopedias and memoirs. I have stories of adventure, stories of love, and stories of history that look so pretty sitting on my shelf. Unfortunately the reason so many of them look so nice is because they have yet to be broken in. So many unfinished masterpieces dog-eared and bookmarked, and left for decor.
My name is Talia and I have Literary ADD. I love the look, the feel, the smell of a good book. The thought of curling up with a romance, or sitting on a beach with a story of adventure excites me enough to pull out my Chapters loyalty card before I put down what I’m already reading. I often get so excited about a new book that I drop what I’m reading to start something else - without even giving the plot a chance to thicken. Once in a while though, one of those books that pulls me away from another, is strong enough that I don’t let go. Once in a while I do not have a wandering eye. Once in a while I finish a book. And then I finish it again. Like the recipe books I use most often – their pages stuck together, smeared and stained from constant use – the written books I love are weathered and worn from multiple readings.
Recently my lovely fiancé, an avid reader who actually finishes books – gifted me with a captivating memoir that I could not put down. Wild – From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed pulled me in and inspired me. The story follows Cheryl, a twenty-something woman struggling through extremely dark times in her life, as she impulsively decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. With no previous experience, she leaves everything behind and takes off on the 1,700 km hike from the Mojave Desert to Washington State. The auto-biography follows Cheryl over dozens of mountain ranges, through deserts, and deep snow. It delves deeply into the human spirit, compassion and perseverance, and finding oneself against all odds.
I have not suffered like Cheryl had. No loss, no drugs, no divorce – but I found a personal connection and relation in Cheryl’s journey. Reading it was an individual experience that inspired me and motivated me to take risks, take chances, and follow my instinct.
One day we will hike The Pacific Crest Trail, but for now our sights are set on our own adventure. As I’ve been preparing for departure on the West Coast Trail next week, I’ve thought of Cheryl’s story several times. I’ve opened the book and read a few chapters here and there, in no particular order – each time becoming more excited and inspired for our hike. Our trip will not be as life-changing as Cheryl’s. We are not escaping, we are not overcoming, we are hiking 75km – not 1,700 – and we are seasoned and prepared. But as I pack my backpack I can’t help but feel a little bit like Cheryl, forging ahead into the unknown… and coming out stronger on the other end.
I highly recommend Wild, for a woman, a man, an avid hiker or a couch potato. It is not just a story of adventure, but one of the power of the human spirit!
What are your favorite books that you’ve read over and over again? Let me know, I’ll likely drop what I’m reading now to check it out!
Happy Reading! See the BC we See!