Trafford Publishing can aptly tell you that there is no better feeling than becoming engrossed in a book, to the point where it becomes a permanent extremity.
It is these books that hold an everlasting connection on a cognitive level like no other. As a result, inspiration and enlightenment is acquired to alter your ethos and take you places you never thought you would end up. A prime example was a simple gift to Trafford Publishing author Jane St. John, which sparked a life-long affiliation with literature and opened up the doors to the production of such literature.
This fantastic piece by Jane St. John is relative to all book aficionados. It provokes the realization of certain characteristics within ourselves that wouldn’t exist, had it not been for the subliminal power that certain books hold…
What book do you first remember wanting to carry in your hip pocket? A favorite read that stands out in your memory? For me, it’s not easy to pick just one. But when I was fifteen, my sister-in-law gave me a hardback copy of J. D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye. It was the first real book I had received as a gift.
The Catcher in the Rye not only read well, it touched my life. Up to then, my reading had consisted of only a magazine here and there, and required school assignments. I wasn’t interested in reading fiction for just pure enjoyment.
As a self-conscious ninth grader, I was too preoccupied with being “cool” than to lower myself to the level of a “bookish wall flower with horned rim glasses, avidly reading all the time.
Hoping to arouse an interest in reading, my sister-in-law, Holly, who belonged to a book club and read voraciously, surprised me one evening with The Catcher in the Rye. I remember graciously accepting it, placing it on the dresser next to a comb, a brush, and a couple of comic books, doubting I’d even open it again.
However, while visiting my cousin, Norma, one summer morning, I noticed her shirtless boyfriend studying for his summer school class on the patio. Being a “cool” but awkward fifteen-year-old, I wanted his attention despite being no match for this muscular boy one year my senior.
“What’s up Mac?” I asked. “What’s that you’re reading?”
“It’s too deep for you,” he replied. “You’re used to coloring books.”
I smirked. “What’s the name of your book?”
“The Catcher in the Rye,”he said and continued reading.
“I’m reading The Catcher in the Rye too,” I lied. “It’s a good book. I started it last week.” I then hurriedly left to avoid any questions and ultimate humiliation.
That afternoon, I picked up The Catcher in the Rye, examined the cover, reading both back and front before opening it; intrigued by the first few pages, I went on to finish the first chapter, then the second.
Surprisingly, each chapter drew me to read the next. The story of a disturbed teenager coming of age unfurled before me late into the night. I fell asleep, lights on, with The Catcher in the Rye wide open next to me.
The next day, I couldn’t wait to return to the compelling pages that had kept me mesmerized the previous night. I couldn’t put it down. I turned the final page with a sense of sadness. I didn’t want it to end.
With this sense of loss, I immediately wanted another book to replace it. This J. D. Salinger sure knew young people. I reread some paragraphs to relive the emotions of the main characters, Holden Caulfield, Phoebe, and Mr. Antolini. I read other books hoping to recapture this pleasure. The Catcher in the Rye was my springboard to other readings.
Reading, for me, sparked a new admiration for the written word, and a desire to write. I talked with my teachers about writing, asked questions, right down to a publisher, and a manuscript.
In adulthood, I, like J. D. Salinger’s character, Holden Caulfield, had a breakdown. However, mine transcended into mental illness that lasted for over twenty years; eventually, I recovered sufficiently, and my interest didn’t wane for I have since, over an eight year span, completed a manuscript and self-published with Trafford Publishing.
It’s 2014 and it’s been sixty-three years since The Catcher in the Rye was published. Over time, it joined the ranks of modern day classics. Not too long ago, on January 27, 2010, J. D. Salinger passed away at the age of ninety-one. I’m working on a second novel and am more than half finished.
The right book can become a part of your being. The gift of a book can touch a life in countless ways.
We hope you enjoyed Jane St. John’s fantastic tale as much as we did! We will be back shortly with more literary tales from our established authors. Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page as well Jane St. John’s touching book Seeking Normal, before we return.