This week Krysta and Briana at Pages Unbound are hosting the discussion: What is a classic that changed your life?
I’m going to approach this question from maybe a bit different of a perspective than was intended. This is a story I’ve shared on my blog before, but it’s been a while. This is a book that changed my life not because of the contents, but because of things in real life, if that makes sense.
2007. I was a freshman in college doing a week of marching band before the semester started. I was basically ONLY reading classic novels (and Eragon…), and I was in a situation where I had to make new friends for the first time in four years. Suffice to say I didn’t really know how. While the rest of my section went out to eat, I stayed behind in the music building and read Love in the Time of Cholera by myself. In my defense, I was jobless and paying for gas to commute so I had zero cash for tacos.
On the other side of the music building, my now-husband tells the story that he, too, was lonely. In his case he wasn’t looking for friends, but for love. He tells the story that he was praying, asking God to send him someone. (Because that’s totally how God works.) He says he was specifically hoping to find someone “smart”.
So he turned the corner and saw me sitting by myself with my nose in a book. Prayer answered! (Again, not how God works.) He asked what I was reading. A book he’d never heard of, must be a smart book! Was I enjoying it? No. But I was reading it anyway? When he tells this story now he says it was because I was continuing to read a (rather long) book that I wasn’t even enjoying that really captured his attention. He says he was “inspired by” my perseverance. I’m not sure I believe this version of the story. I think that in his youth he was convinced I was sent to him by God, and the book was a “sign”. That’s more how he told the story back in our college days, anyway. Regardless, my book intrigued him, so he asked me to hang out.
The rest, as they say, is history.
In the end, Love in the Time of Cholera ended up being one of my least favorite modern classics ever. It’s written in a stream-of-consciousness style that I did not enjoy. But I don’t know that had I been reading Twilight that he would have stopped to talk to me. So the book quite literally changed my life.
Has a book ever changed your life?