jueves, marzo 20, 2008

Books and things

Today Arthur C. Clarke has passed away.
My idyll with science-fiction started a few years ago now, but it seems like it's always been a part of me.
Books have always been present in my life. My parents are mostly the ones to blame, obviously; especially my dad, who's an avid reader. There's always been bookshelves full of all kinds of books in my house, from comic books to cook books, all through epic novels. Since I was little, my parents have encouraged me to read and, believe it or not, to look up stuff in the dictionary. Maybe my utter and total obsession with books in general and dictionaries in particular comes from there.
There's something special in that almost ritual moment of starting a new book. Something fabulous in picking up your reading, where it almost feels like you're meeting old friends. It feels like you're getting out of your daily world, all plain and boring, and getting in a whole new world where everything's possible. I love the smell of books, the noise of the passing pages, the smooth feeling of the edge of the pages... I love reading.
My dad has always been a big fan of science-fiction, but I never felt attracted to that kind of literature. Maybe because of my young age, I thought science-fiction was all about an incredibly big boring-ass story about scientists and their jibby-jabba... And boy, was I ever right! And I love it sooo much! Cause it's nothing like a jibby-jabba at all.
Why do I tell you that Arthur C. Clarke has died? Cause the first science-fiction book I ever read was written by him. He was my very own gatekeeper of the wonderful world science-fiction has been for me. I've never stopped reading it. In fact, some of my all-time favourite books, those that you recommend everyone, are science-fiction.
Me, a natural-born skeptic; me, who loses her faith in human kind everytime I watch the news; me, I find a fantastic shelter in those imaginary worlds, in those true tests humans are subjected to when they encounter beings from another planet, in that definitive form of humility when Man has to admit he doesn't know nor can do everything.
So today, when a myth has died and one of the pillars of the bookshelf that holds up my world colapses, I encourage you to read some science-fiction. I started with "Rendezvous with Rama", but there are a lot of great books by this wonderful author, like "The Songs of Distant Earth", that are so worth reading at least once in a lifetime.

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