I can't either.
Furthermore, when I read a book, I like to feel it. Not the cool synthetic, amalgamated shell of an e-reader, but the fibrous textiles of individual books. The book as an object--from the cover art to the velvet whisper of turning pages--is as much a part of the reading experience as the contents. Even now, I can recall the wrist-ache from holding Don Quixote while lying on my cot in my hooch in Baghdad; or the mylar-covered jackets of library books I read as a boy which were grimed (and germed) with a hundred handprints; or the chemically-comforting scent rising from new books.
I like the idea of books calling to us; and, by extension, authors calling to readers. If each of my books has something to say to me, then there are more than 6,000 voices coming from my shelves at this moment. I know I'll never be able to answer all of them, so I somewhat serendipitously let them find me.
I reached in the bag and drew it out. Lisa Peet is right when she says that it's "a lovely little smooth-covered paperback, light as a bird." As I held the book in my hand, it felt like it wanted to take flight.
Want more serendipity? I just now opened Tinkers to a random page to see if I could find a choice passage to quote for this blog post. These are the first words my eyes fell on (page 44):
This is a book. It is a book I found in a box. I found the box in the attic. The box was in the attic, under the eaves. The attic was hot and still. The air was stale with dust. The dust was from old pictures and books. The dust in the air was made up of the book I found. I breathed the book before I saw it; tasted the book before I read it.I'd like to tell you that I thumbed through the pages until I found this most-perfect passage. But the truth is, the book knew what it wanted. It called to me and I answered.