I remember reading James Kelman's How Late It Was, How Late in my brother's sweltering bedroom in Bangkok. I remember reading War and Peace in a wretched little pensione on the island of Syros, Greece. I remember reading Walker Percy's The Moviegoer in my room at a writer's residency in Woodside, California. I remember because the books were great literature, and I had gone to some trouble to bring and/or find them, and because they awoke something in me that can never quite be similarly awakened by anything I read on a screen.
The weight of the books I have carried, toted, lugged, moved in my life would come to the tens if not hundreds of thousands of pounds. But no way, not now and I pray not ever, am I ready for a Kindle.
Because I have never carried the books. The books have carried me.
With this column "A Book of Sparks" will close. Deep thanks to Elizabeth Scalia and all at Patheos who have given my work a place these past few months, and to all those who have read, responded, and silently argued or enjoyed. I hope you'll join me as I return to my own Shirt of Flame at shirtofflame.blogspot.com.