I'm afraid it's true. I was thinking about the main characters in a good book I'd read recently, reviewing their adventures and their personalities, speculating about their futures . . . and realized that I knew them better than I know most people.
Well-written characters share their thoughts, feelings, and motivations in ways that I can understand, even if I don't agree. Fiction helps me explore the consequences of choices I wouldn't ordinarily make, shows me times and places I don't inhabit, and exercises my brain as I puzzle out plot twists and learn new words.
Fictional people don't care about my thoughts and feelings, of course. But that's okay. I'm an introvert. And if I don't like the people I meet in a book, I can just send them back to the library. Maybe someone else will like them.
I do try to read non-fiction from time to time. I just finished a biography of James Madison which was interesting and educational. But I think I learned at least as much from Elijah of Buxton, the historical novel I read afterward, in a tenth of the time.
So I'm excited to join the Summer Book Trek. This is a challenge to read fiction by LDS authors, with the opportunity to win fabulous prizes (More books! Sign up today!). I've found quite a few enticing volumes in my local library catalog, and I look forward to visiting some old friends and making some new ones. I'll keep a list of the books I read on the sidebar, under the Trek button.
Of course, I'm not the only reader around here. As soon as the Caterpillar heard about the Summer Book Trek, he hit his bookshelf upstairs. He's read at least four novels in the Tennis Shoes Adventure Series in the past two days, racking up the points. But he'll be out of town on a real adventure next week, so I might catch up.
Many years ago, in New Mexico, I attempted to teach some teenaged girls to sew. I designed a simple tote bag, provided their favorite colors and some sewing machines, and thought my directions would be pretty easy to follow. As it turned out, the time was short. A well-meaning grandmother finished some of them off. I'm not sure whether I ever saw any of the bags in use.
But I used mine. I've carried scriptures, lesson manuals, music books, and extra papers to church in my purple bag. Last year, when I was asked to lead Cub Scouts instead of teaching a Sunday class, I started leaving my purple bag home. I told the younger boys that they could start bringing their own drawing paper. I thought maybe it was time to create a smaller bag, just for my scriptures.
Of course, before I got around to it, I was asked to play the piano for the children's meetings at church. I pulled out my old purple bag to carry my large music book. One strap was being held on by a safety pin. I fixed that, then found little rips in the bottom. It was time for a new bag, after all.
I bought some decorator fabric and a nice plain lining, but thought I should do something more to keep it whole. So I reinforced the bottom of the bag with a piece of denim from my never-ending supply.
I added the lining and one of my few decorative stitches,