Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Big Stone Gap

I used to be an avid reader. I grew up engrossed in books. When reading I found myself transported to whatever time, whatever lifestyle the book lead me. As I have gotten older, I still love books. I buy them all the time. BUT I rarely read them. When I'm not at work or at some work function, I find little desire to think about reading. I do miss it but sometimes not enough to take up a book and time for me.

I used to be an avid reader but now I am an avid listener. I am in my car quite a bit not only for my job but also because my lovely boyfriend lives 100 miles away. When I was in graduate school, a good 6 hours from my country home, I discovered books on tape. I would go to the public library and check out enough to get me home and back. Usually the books were quite good and they didn't leave me with the "I can't listen to one more cd" feeling.

I still find audio books fulfilling. And I can usually get through an abridged version in one weekend trip to the jazz musician's house. I reserve unabridged titles for my trips back to the country.

On my way back from the mountains after Thanksgiving this year, I popped in a new book, "Big Stone Gap" by Adriana Trigiani. I bought this book for two reasons: it reminded me of home and I owned the paperback but have never read it.

This book turned out to be wonderful. It was read by the author which at first annoyed me...I didn't like her voice...but ultimately I found comfort in her subtle lisp and country pronunciation. The story was beautiful and I often found myself tearing up or letting the full on sob flow (this can prove tricky as I listened to this masterpiece while driving).

I finally finished this work this morning...in my car...in my work parking lot. This was one of those stories that I kept thinking about throughout the day. I found myself transported into the life of Ave Maria. In her story I heard a few similarities to my own but most importantly I was once again transported out of my everyday and into something magical.

This is why I miss books. The transporting to another place. This is also why I don't read them as much. I get lost in other lives in other places and I forget how to be me. I become so absorbed in someone else's life, I do not know how to function in my own...until their story is over.

If you have already found this treasure you are lucky. If you too have missed the wonder of Big Stone Gap (published in 2000), find it. Whether you hold it in your hand or hear it in your car, it is well worth your time. Enjoy.


Bossy Bar-Wife said...

I am so glad you wrote this. I own that book, and have for years, and haven't read it. Now maybe I will. I do have a love of Appalachia...

Just a Country Girl said...

It is a wonderful story. You'd love it!