When we read books, we associate many random incidental details with them. Some of them are quite mundane. Others are rather interesting and curious.
At times, when I recall reading a book, it is almost as if I’m transported into a different time or place, a time when I was reading that book.
Here are some specific incidental memories I have connected with various books. I make no promise that they will be particularly interesting, but they are very significant to me.
- The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. This book stirs up memories of the Fall season to me. Mainly, because I read it during fall. And I even listened to a chapter or two the audio book version while raking up thousands of leaves!
- The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor reminds me of early mornings in Jamaica, mainly because that’s where I read most of it.
- The Trial of Henry Kissinger by Christopher Hitchens reminds me of the Canadian Embassy in Buffalo, New York, which is where I read a few chapters of it.
- Tulipomania: The Story of the World’s Most Coveted Flower & the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused by Mike Dash, ironically, reminds me of cold winter air, mainly because I listened to most of it while going on winter walks.
- The Glory of Christ by R.C. Sproul reminds me of the beach, mainly because it was a book that I read almost entirely on the beach in Cuba or Dominican Republic, and it was one that got particularly sandy for some reason.
- The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? by Padget Powell will forever be associated in my mind with dating the fine lady who would eventually become my wife, because of the way we randomly peppered each other with questions from it.
- We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People by Dan Gilmor is forever etched in my memory as the first book (and last?) book I ever listened to in a computer-generated voice. I did think it was a pretty brilliant book, though!
- Pollution and the Death of Man by Francis Schaeffer will be forever associated in my mind with being in the balcony of my room in a resort in either Cuba or the Dominican Republic.
- The Door Into Summer by Robert Heinlein will always be associated in my mind with being sick, because I was down and out with a bad cold when I listened to most of it.
- The Dust of Death: The Sixties Counterculture and How It Changed America Forever by Os Guinness was one of the most damaged books I ever read, it was literally falling apart in my hands as I read it. And it smelled funky!
- The Plague by Albert Camus. I read this mainly on the beach in Varadero, Cuba. Then I gave it away to the “pool library” my resort had.
I’m sure there are many other such experiences, but these are a few that come to mind. What incidental reading memories do you have?