Reading is one of my favorite pastimes. I love it when I find a book that I lose myself in. I can’t find enough time to read these types of books and they are always over far too quickly.
Books open the doors to so many other worlds. God gives each person one life to live and each person can only do or accomplish a given amount during his lifetime. Through books however, I have the chance to live vicariously through other people’s experiences.
Good books take me to new places; they challenge my thinking. They show me what it would be like if I lived in a different time period, in a different country, or in completely different life circumstances. Good books let me be so many things that it would be impossible for me to do or be in my lifetime.
A good example of this is a book I finished reading in April entitled The Lost City of Z by David Grann. The book chronicles an explorer in the early 1900s, a Percy Fawcett, who set out to explore the uncharted regions of the Amazon. He heard tales of advanced, ancient civilizations in South America and he wanted to find the ruins of the this city. He left for that trip in the 1920’s…and he never returned. He, along with two other men, simply disappeared in the dense jungle of the Amazon. The author of The Lost City of Z chronicles the story of Fawcett as well as his own journey as he seeks to unravel the mystery surrounding Fawcett’s last excursion into the Amazon.
This book captured my imagination. The difficulties of traveling in the Amazon in the early 1900s are described in sometimes gross detail. The health hazards (presented by insects and native Indians) are described.
A book like this lets the reader be an explorer; it takes the reader into the jungles of the Amazon. It lets the reader see the agony that goes with tropical diseases…all from the safety and comfort of one’s own home. Beginning the book, I thought it might be fun to be an explorer. After reading about all the hostile Indians (even though there were some friendly ones) and the horrible Amazonian diseases (such as maggots invading your body and actually reproducing and living under your skin), I have officially decided I would not have made it as an explorer of the Amazon.
But still…I got to experience what it would have been like through the words of Fawcett and Grann.
~ Melinda ~