I’ve kept a commonplace book for over a decade, occasionally adding in snippets, quotes, or sayings that appeal to me. After adding a fresh piece of advice the other day (“Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will.”) I glanced back through other recent entries and landed on this one from author Cornelia Funke:
If you take a book with you on a journey…an odd thing happens. The book begins collecting your memories. And forever after you have only to open that book to be back where you first read it. It will all come to your mind with the very first words: the sights you saw in that place, what it smelled like, the ice cream you ate while you were reading it…yes, books are like flypaper — memories cling to the printed page better than anything else.
I find this to be the most true — at least for me — when re-reading books I first read as a child: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series and Bread and Jam for Frances. I thumb through these books and I am a child again.
When I start thinking about travel and reading, though, the books that come to mind are the ones I’ve read in adulthood.
I read Under the Tuscan Sun while on a month-long sojourn in Prague, Czech Republic, and Maid to Match on an even more recent trip to Asheville, North Carolina.
This makes me long to travel more, to take in more sights and feelings that will then become inextricably linked with the stories I read. What a marvelous thing.
Is there a book you associate with specific travels or memories?