We all know that the Christmas season is the time when people with serious personal flaws get visited by ghosts that try and get them to change their erring ways. Well you guys, some freaky ghosts totally came and visited me for some time traveling lessons about my Christmases past, present and future. Normally I wouldn’t share my personal paranormal experiences on my book blog. That’s for my secret Illuminati Confirmed side blog. However, these ghosts had a lot to say about my reading habits and where they’ll get me in life, so here we go. It all started with a blast from the past.
Ghost of Christmas Books Past:
So This weird glowey little dude told me he wanted to take me to my Christmas past and I was like sure, sounds fun. So we go poof back in time, but all invisible like the ghost tells me so I can’t mess with people as a future person. We’re at my aunt’s house, where my extended family spent many Christmases. Adults joyfully chatter, children run around shrieking in play and laughter. Where, asks past ghosts, am I? Well duh, it’s about halfway through the night, I was obviously where I was every Christmas at that time.
I take the ghost up to my cousin’s bedroom closet. I’m in there, reading one of several Foxtrot books, collections of this newspaper comic strip by Bill Amend. I loved them, and my cousin’s closet was cozy and had enough light to read by. Past ghost saw this and was all like, what? That’s not even a Christmas book. Would you not be celebrating the holiday by playing festive Christmas games with your cousins? What are they playing– And I was like oh yeah it’s another lightsaber grand royale duel to the death. I was probably already tagged out. Melee with plastic lightsabers is more exhausting than you think, and I needed to recover.
I just always liked reading those little comic strips. My dad did, and he had those books all over. Maybe reading them was all about feeling reading connecting me to my family… But then past ghost was all rude and interrupted saying laser-swords is not a Christmas game! What is with this family? Hitting people is as much against the Christmas spirit as isolating yourself behind the cover of a book! And I was like wow, rude. You interrupted me there but then the past ghost just sighed and took me home, back to the present just in time for…
Ghost of Christmas Books Present:
So I came back to my room and thought hey, maybe I’d get a quick break to read a few more pages, but then out of no where this ghost in fancy robes who was definitely more than a little wasted on ghost Christmas wine was there, and he was getting ready to get all up in my business too! He goes, Madeline, what is it you’re doing cooped up in here? Then I got all excited and got ready to tell him. Oh, I’m reading this great new book called News of the World by Paulette Jiles and it’s this beautiful, western with a unique style that… You’re wasting this splendid holiday season is what you are doing interjected the drunk ghost guy. Hear the frivolity outside, the laughter! You should join in the festivities. And I’m like, ew no. It’s negative something degrees out there. Walking from my car to my building earlier today made my face hurt. I’m staying here. You see, this book’s done in this really interesting fashion where they don’t denote any of the dialogue with quotation marks, giving it a really flowing, stream of consciousness effect, which can be quite terrible when not pulled off right, but here it works wonderfully…
But then he was all no, come on then, what about all that cheering down the hall, shall we not join the souls in this very building in celebrating Christmas? Oh that’s just the girls getting drunk on white wine while they yell and reality TV and bad romcoms. That’s not really my scene, Mr. Ghost Guy. When I celebrate and socialize around the holidays, I just generally prefer more low key nights than what you’re going after, and honestly I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I enjoy engaging in rich conversations on topics I find interesting, like this book right here. What I really like about Jiles is how… Then Present Ghost interrupts, (again with these guys and the interrupting!), Laaaaaame. If you’re not getting completely wasted you’re not doing Christmas right. And then he just did a really long belch then mumbled about having another ridiculously large banquet feast to get to. He left me alone, but really soon afterwards the next guy showed up in some ridiculous cloak get-up. Oh well. At least I know it’s the last one.
Ghost of Christmas Books Future:
So this creepy cloaked guy goes Madeline, I’ve come to warn you of the path all this socially reclusive behavior and reading is taking you down, behold! Then bam we were somewhere completely different, the future I guessed. We were in the coolest room ever. The room was filled floor to ceiling with shelves full of books on every wall. And there was this old lady in the comfiest chair I’d even seen with a reading lamp right in the middle of the room, with several cats around here either demanding pets and attention or else pretending to ignore her for pets and attention, and some more hiding under the furniture. It looked pretty sweet, I gotta admit. My dream set up. Then Future Ghost started with his bit. See! this is what will become of you if you continue to shut yourself away at from people! You will become a crazy cat lady, foolish mortal! I looked around the place again, realizing it was my home and that old lady in the comfy chair is old me. I honestly got a little teary eyed.
The ghost goes, Ah, now you see the gravity of your situation! And I’m like, wow, thanks ghost, I really gotta say, I never dreamed I could one day have it this good. All these books, those cats, that chair, I can’t say I ever really wanted more for myself in old age. Future ghost was just frustrated though. Come on! You should be scared of this, of ending up alone with no one but your books to keep you company And I just had to reply like, why, dude? This is great. I obviously did very well for myself, looking at this set up, or else I have a family that’s still taking really good care of me. You know, people always give me a hard time about finding fulfillment in solitary pleasures like reading, I think maybe because they think I’m trying to shut people out or even being snobbish, and it always gets worse on the holidays, when everyone’s planning parties and getting ready for Christmas. You know what? I love these things because that’s who I am and how I’m wired. I still enjoy myself plenty, even if it’s in a shy way most people don’t get to see. Books have always been a way for me to enjoy myself and connect with others in my own special way, and indulging in them and anything else that makes me so happy sounds like a wonderful life to me. I smile, but future ghost just screamed.
Oh my God we aren’t even doing that movie though, and then he stormed off to ghost world. I had to make my way to the present day corporeal plane all by myself too, but I figured it out after a couple of hours. All in all, not the worst ghost visitations I’ve ever experienced, but these guys weren’t very bright.
Here’s to books and the special places they hold in our hearts on the wintery holidays. Hurray for cozy reading!