Literature can stop my heart and execute me for a moment, allow me to become someone else.When I think about the literature that I love. . . when I think about the characters that I still wonder about, as if they are good friends that I've lost touch of, but still wonder about. . .these are the books that have stopped my heart. These are the books that have wedged themselves into my na'au (my guts). I reread them over the years and still find myself gasping for breath, even when I know what will happen. I mourn anew. I rage against the injustice as if it were the first injustice.
I think we, as avid readers, continue to be avid readers because there are books that stop our heart for a moment. When we read a really good book, we mourn at the last page, not ready to let go of the world we've occupied, the friends we've made, the enemies we've battled. A really good book requires a little quiet time at the end to decompress and return to reality. Like addicts, we are looking for the next high. We are willing to search our whole lives.
Here's one of my heart stoppers (I notice that I carry around tragedies - I don't know what that says about me).
What are those books that you carry with you in your heart?