It’s after midnight. The whole house is asleep. All I hear is the rhythmic ticking of my keyboard keys – like clicking pens or fingernails tapping on a desk before an exam – as I write this. I can’t sleep.
In the darkness, I feel as if I’ve stolen something – a secret. A good book will do that to you, make you feel as if you’ve read someone else’s journal. It becomes something sacred between you and the author or the characters of the book.
But, I said a good book. That’s not really the right word, is it? It doesn’t taste quite right in your mouth, a little like having peanut butter after you’ve brushed your teeth. But then, none of the replacement words seem to fit either. Fantastic, amazing, breathtaking – they don’t really get down to the core of what you feel.
How do you describe the type of book that takes you out of your skin and puts you in someone else’s body? The kind of book that has you scrambling through your own mind-rumble, dusting off old thoughts and feelings and willing you to make something new of them, like a strange DIY project.
Is life-changing the word? Maybe.
Yet, that sounds so dramatic and extravagant. The changes are more subtle. Tonight I’ve read the kind of book where with the turn of each page, you become a different version of yourself. And when you finish that last page, there’s this wave that runs over you. I can think of several words to describe that rush of realisation, but they’re all four-lettered and inappropriate, so I won’t. But, you just know that you can’t ever look at the world the same again.
I want to be able to write like that someday.