This Nora Ephron classic had been on my list of books to read for a long time. A really long time. When Nora died almost a month ago, I went to the library the very next day. It was time to read I Feel Bad About My Neck, the book that so many people have raved about. I knew I would probably love it. And I did.
Below are the passages I would have highlighted or underlined as I was reading, had it not been a library book:
"Reading is one of the main things I do. Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss."
"The state of rapture I experience when I read a wonderful book is one of the main reasons I read, but it doesn't happen every time or even every other time, and when it does happen, I'm truly beside myself."
"When I was a child, nearly every book I read sent me into rapture. Can I be romanticizing my early reading experiences? I don't think so. I can tick off so many books that I read and re-read when I was growing up... I wanted so badly to be Jane Banks, growing up in London with Mary Poppins for a nanny... Little Sara Crew in Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic A Little Princess was my alter ego... I wanted to be... Anne Frank, and Nancy Drew... and Anne of Green Gables -- and in my imagination, at least, I could be."
"Every so often I look up from the book and see a roomful of people waiting for me to make a decision about whether the music is too soft or the thunder is too loud, and I can't believe they don't understand that what I'm doing is Much More Important. I'm reading the most wonderful book."
This passage made me want to move to New York City:
"I'm in a rowboat on the lake in Central Park. Fortunately I'm not rowing the boat. I'm still in college, but soon I won't be, soon I'll be living here, in New York City. I look up at all the buildings surrounding the park, and it crosses my mind that except for the man rowing the boat, I don't know anyone in New York City. And I barely know the man in the boat... I vow that someday I will know someone in New York City."
P.S. Marta's valentine to Nora Ephron.