Yup, bought a book because of how it looked; the cover is textured in a lovely shade of weathered cream, the title is framed by a lovely subtle filigree with details of toadstools, mosquitoes and snakes, there is a damsel fly on the front cover and the title itself brought images of nature and beauty to my mind.
I was at a book sale that was selling thousands of almost mint condition used books at prices that made you wonder if you brought enough bags and money. The profits were to go to Raise A Reader foundation and buy new books for the children....yes, me too, the question of how deprived my children were by not having all new books. And like most of us bibliophiles, instead we had hundreds of books for our children because we took the time to scour the used book sections. But I digress.
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett not only looks like a great book but is a great read! I escaped to the Amazon for a week and thoroughly enjoyed the adventure.
Marina filled her lungs with frozen air and smelled both winter and spring, dirt and leftover snow with the smallest undercurrent of something green. p. 45or,
Marina leaned over the front of the boat and watched the lettuce compact beneath the pontoons while behind them the plants knitted themselves back together, smoothing over the path they had made without so much as a damaged leaf. We are here, Marina thought, and we were never here. p.238and,
That was Dr. Rapp's great lesson in the Amazon, in science: Never be so focused on what you're looking for that you overlook the thing you actually find. p. 246
Ann Patchett herself gives us insight as to the gift of fiction:
Reading fiction is important. It is a vital means of imagining a life other than our own, which in turn makes us more empathetic beings. Following complex story lines stretches our brains beyond the 140 characters of sound-bite thinking, and staying withing the world of a novel gives us the ability to be quiet and alone, two skills that are disappearing faster than the polar icecaps. (New York Times, April 17, 2012)
Take a chance on a beautiful book. Sometimes the illustrations are worth whatever might be written around them. And like my grandmother always said: There are too many great books in this world to waste your time on a boring one. Have you added a new author to your list of great reads?