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  • Kerry Chaput

An Ode to Books

Updated: Jul 28




Life can be pretty rough sometimes. We make a lot of mistakes, and if we're lucky, we do a lot of learning. Something that makes the journey a little bit easier is understanding the human condition just a bit better. Enter books. Whether you jive on outrageous fantasy or cozy rom-coms or detailed historical fiction (like me), reading helps us escape the turbulence of life and learn about ourselves along the way.


I've been a fairweather reader in my life. I read The Diary of Anne Frank one weekend when I was 12, and I still feel it changed the way I looked at the world. But then I went through years where I put down more books than I picked up. I devoured all 500 pages of The Power of One, then cast aside more than a few New York Times bestsellers. There were some years still, that I read nothing. Then I picked up The Davinci Code and didn't put it down until my hands cramped, finishing it in 24 hours. I remembered how much fun it could be.


I owe you an apology, books. I've left you time and time again, and you wait patiently, ready to pull me out of whatever bumpy ride life has handed me. So here's to you, my forever friend:


I've collected seashells with a blind girl in France during WWII and felt my heart crush along with the miraculous life of a Geisha. I've hunted for angels and demons and eat prayed and loved with the brilliant Elizabeth Gilbert. I learned why the caged bird sings and what it was like to live with Ernest Hemingway. I've delivered books through the Kentucky hills in the Great Depression and fell down a dark hole with Eleanor Oliphant. I suffered with the women of nazi-occupied France, where I cheered for the resistance and cried for their redemption. I've carved the David with Michelangelo and rode the Austrian countryside with an accidental Austrian Empress. I've seen the trees growing in Brooklyn and smelled the white oleander. I've invented wings and helped smuggle Dr. Zhivago out of Russia. I have been untamed and educated and wicked and wild.


I've learned and laughed and cried. I've hoped and dreamed and wished and failed. I've gone on great adventures and traveled back in time. I've seen through the eyes of those that are different than me, and those that have taught me.


Books, I make amends and promise to never ever give up on you, as long as you never give up on me. As long as there are words to write and stories to tell, I will do my best to be a part of the ride.

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