Influences: the book I could never read

I was thinking of writing about Karl May, Oscar Wilde, Stendhal, Gerald Durrell, Julie Garwood, Briggs or Moaning, but then realized that they are nice, but not my greatest source of strength, inspiration or style.

In 1996 summer I wanted to read a book.

My grandmother remembered a book she had with lots of short stories that she thought could interest me – romantic stories. Being in my tender age, I agreed and we started going through the shelves. While we were searching she kept telling me how lovely it was and how good stories it had and how well it was written compared with others published at that time. She reads a lot and believed her, getting exited about it more and more, imagining myself holding that book, keeping it like a treasure it was and indulging myself with one story per day so I could enjoy it even more. In my dreams it was old, with yellow pages, lost its covers and smelling of wormwood – just like the old newspaper collection from 1920s my brother kept in his closet.

Then, when we reached to the last shelf, she suddenly gasped, turned and said while looking right at me from the chair she was standing on : “I lend it out to my friend in 60s,” she said, “I think she left it on the bench in bus stop.”

I was appalled. There was no book?

I so wanted to read it that I turned down every other book she tried to offer me instead, until she suddenly said: “Why won’t you just write the story you want to read?”

I took pen and paper and started five minutes later. Page long stories, one per each day and in no time I can replace the book that careless borrower lost. I still thrive to fulfill my youth’s promise – to replace that book that borrower left on that bench in that bus stop. No other book – that one.

I am still angry she lend it out, but also glad. Because this lost collection of short romantic stories has given me more inspiration and stamina than any other book that I have ever read.

* * *

Today’s post is my response to the promt on Influences, this month’s topic for the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. Throughout the month, you can get to know twenty (or so) other writers from various genres and backgrounds and at various places in their careers.

Next stop on the tour is Tiberius Clausewitz Drusus Nero Germanicus on April 21st, 2012.


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