Libraries are fond of using displays to encourage patrons to read more. One of the most hackneyed is based on the theme of books transporting us to realms beyond our day to day lives.
Yes, the idea is hackneyed. Yes, it is trite. Yes, I was transported by the last book I read. Absolutely taken from here to there and even more I wanted to stay in that place, among those people.
I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer when it first came out in 2009. I loved it then. I told everyone I knew it was wonderful and they should read it. They should have. It was wonderful.
Then I moved on to the hundreds of books I’ve read since.
A couple of weeks ago I was scanning the shelves of books on CD at my local library branch, looking for something, anything to listen to in my car, when I saw Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society…sitting there. I knew I had read it seven years ago and enjoyed it. I also knew that one of the upsides of my aging memory is that I can read books I know I have read in the past and enjoy them as if it were the first time through. This aspect of my fickle memory is a wonderful thing. It enables me to pick out books I know I’ll like and not waste time on clunkers.
So, I grabbed the box and headed to the checkout kiosk. As I walked, I looked over the cover notes. There was a list of narrators. I don’t like multiple narrators. I almost put the box back on the shelf. I am still dancing a jig that I didn’t. The narrators were perfect, having several fit this book exactly. I liked it.
I liked it so much that I really would love to go to Guernsey in 1946, the year before I was even born, to see the places and meet those wonderful people. I want to live there then in that place and time. There it is. Transported.