I´ve loved books ever since my mom read me bedtime stories. My bedtime stories are probably not the same as yours, unless you’re from Sweden or Scandinavia. Astrid Lindgren has always been my absolute favourites through my life. Later in life I´ve started to love other authors. Enid Blyton made me sad to live in Sweden but what adventures she took me on. Stephen King gave life to the creatures in my head; I wasn´t the only one thinking like this. Agatha Christie made me want to move to some old village in UK so I too could solve murders. I could make this list longer but I won’t. I´m going to talk about why I´ve titled this post, “How Books Bring Us Together.”
Way back in another life, not really, but back in -97, I received a book from a book club. You know, buy one get five kind of deal. They use that often in Sweden to draw you in: who doesn’t want free books? Well this time when I got the book, it was one I was most eager to read. I read the synopsis, aka the back cover, and realised it was part of a series. Not only part of a series; it was book four! Really, they couldn´t write that down in the magazine?
Fine, I got the book and I still liked the synopsis so I ordered the other books. When they arrived I started reading. It was a Friday if my memory is correct. I didn´t stop reading until Sunday, when I´d finished them all.
The first in the series was Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon. I got hooked from the first lines and I haven´t regretted a day that I started that series. During the years that have passed, I´ve tried to get my friends to read them. Some caved and enjoyed them as well. Moving forward to today’s date, Diana Gabaldon is no longer an obscure book club author, but the world-famous author known for her Outlander series. If they haven´t read the books, they undoubtedly will soon, thanks to the first book now being featured as a Starz television series.
Now I skipped a few steps in the story, sorry. I have been following DG on Facebook and joined a few fan groups over the years. February this year, I read a post looking for pen pals, snail mail pen pals. I thought why not, sent the woman my address in a PM and off we went. At first we were only eight on the list. By the following week the list was up in twenty, today we are 68 on the list.
We have a Facebook group, which is a secret group; invites only. I´m going to be honest, I haven´t written to everyone and I haven´t got letters or cards from all. Come on, most people simply don´t have time, although we do talk on FB and we all support each other. These ladies, and one gentleman, have in a short time become friends and family.
The joy of checking the mail these days. I wish more people were able to experience that feeling. The surprises I´ve got in my mail, someone saying I sent you a letter with a little something in; when it arrives, it´s a big box full of little something’s. Seeing those postage stamps from foreign countries brightens my day all the time. Doesn´t matter how crappy the day has been, to see that postcard or letter lets you know someone have been thinking of you.
All because Diana decided to practice writing a book.