When I was in Japan, staring out the window of a bullet train as Miyazaki-esque houses flew by, I listened to “The Passenger” by Iggy Pop on repeat. I am not sure why I chose that song to listen to obsessively. Maybe because the title was on the nose. Maybe because I love rock. Maybe because David Bowie is singing wildly in the background. It doesn’t really matter.
What does matter is that I heard the song on my Pandora the other day. Suddenly, I was back on that bullet train, speeding through Japan.
A similar thing happens to me with books. I bought my favorite book of all time, I Capture the Castle, in a small bookshop in Cape Cod. Whenever I look at my copy of the book on the shelf, I am instantly transported to the comfy chair of the bed and breakfast where I first read it. I swear I can still hear the rain on the windowpanes.
I am taken back to my college dorm room when I look at I Am Charolette Simmons and my childhood bedroom when I pick up A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories.
You see, so many people talk about words and books transporting us to other worlds. Which is true. But they also can remind us of certain periods or places in our lives because they were so meaningful.
So, if you are struggling with your book, keep going. Your book matters. Maybe someone will read your words and will remember lying on their favorite beach.