Thursday’s Quotables #6

I’m still making my way through The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.  That’s not because I’m not enjoying it.  It’s for the exact opposite reason.  I love it!  I’m savoring it.  On the one hand, this is surprising to me since I’m not a huge fan of mysteries, and there has only been one vampire who periodically shows up and terrorizes people.  On the other hand, the writing is beautiful without being flowery, and the descriptions of all the places traveled through or visited are proof that the journey is more important than the destination.  I should probably zip it and get on with the quotes before I run out of things to say for the review when I eventually finish the book.

Since I’m smitten by Kostova’s way with words, this week’s quotes are about words:

My father taught me the new alphabet, and I amused myself trying to sound out the station signs, each of which looked to me like code words that could open a secret door.

Dear Reader, words are magic.  I’m probably preaching to the choir, but that’s ok, because I.Love.Words.  I’ve been fascinated by words since the words in my much beloved copy of Hop on Pop began to show me their secrets.  Though the next quote is about learning French, a language I’m also learning, it expresses perfectly the feelings I had as I learned how to read:

Never before had I known the sudden quiver of understanding that travels from word to brain to heart, the way a new language can move, coil, swim into life under the eyes, the almost savage leap of comprehension, the instantaneous, joyful release of meaning, the way the words shed their printed bodies in a flash of heat and light.

I still feel this occasionally as I’m learning French, but not on the same level as that first time the words on a page came to life for me.  My family would say that I got the reading gene from my Grandmother, the only other avid reader in the family.  However, I suspect that my love of books was really the result of wanting to relive that experience over and over again.  So, yes, books are a drug that I’m happily addicted to.  I hope I never recover.

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