Friday, June 18, 2010

On Madeleines & Books

At the beginning of The Remembrance of Things Past, a madeleine cake dipped in tea floods Marcel Proust with memories. For some reason it's books, not cakes, that trigger in me what Proust called involuntary memory.

I read The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger on my lunch break my first week at work at BHPL, and the one will forever remind me of the other. (Note to all BHPL staff: I was very excited to be here and did *not* at any point feel like I was on a fishing boat that was about to capsize.) I also have this lovely memory of listening to a Sue Grafton audiobook with my car windows down on a beautiful summer day, and whenever I listen to another one I get to remember that.

As if there weren't enough sadness in A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, I read it with coverage of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack playing all day on TV in the background.

A library science professor of mine used to say that Pat the Bunny was an awful book, but most people love it because we remember reading it on our mothers' laps.

What memories do certain books trigger in you? Does it make you like or dislike that book more?

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