I’ve always loved reading, so when I learned at a book club in town I was thrilled. Never mind that I’m one of the youngest people there, it’s still exciting to read new books that I haven’t discovered yet. This month, we read Watership Down by Richard Adams. This is the second time I’ve read the book, but the first time was when I was in middle school so it’s not exactly fresh in my mind. Still, it’s a phenomenal book and a modern classic, so if you haven’t read it, you need to find a copy now.

Without spoiling too much of the book, it is the adventure story of a group of talking rabbits who are trying to find a new home. It’s a thick book, so you can imagine they have quite a few adventures. Interlaced throughout the narrative are stories about the great rabbit that started it all, much in the similar style of Native American folklore tales. Sometimes it’s easy to forget you are reading a story about a bunch of rabbits, although Adams does a good job of staying true to bunny mannerisms (which, if you’ve ever watched a rabbit for a period of time, just enhances the story that much more). As great of a story that it is, the way the story is told is just incredible. There are times when, for no apparent reason, Adams goes off on a bit of a tangent about something, such as the moonlight, or a description of the Downs, and it stirs something inside that almost made me have to step back for a minute before continuing with the story. His descriptions are so vivid that you can’t help but see yourself in the story, as a bystander watching life play out before you without creating any disturbances to the flow. By the end of the book, you are so connected to the characters that you feel as if you have lived beside them the entire time. And even though the story takes place over a matter of weeks, you feel as if an entire lifetime has been lived before you.

In case it isn’t obvious by this point, this is one of my all-time favorite books. There are very few books out there that I can say have touched me so deeply, moved me so profoundly, and this is definitely one of them. In a way, it’s a life-changer, although perhaps not in the way as others such as C.S. Lewis. It may not make you think about how you live your life, but in my case at least, the story went so deep into my soul that it almost became a part of it. I finished the book last night, and right now I almost feel at a bit of a loss as what to do next. It is so tempting to just pick the book back up and start reading it again. I feel like anything I read or do at this point is not going to live up to that story, as if anything I try to do next will just be a disappointment. Music doesn’t sound the same, other books just look forlorn sitting on the shelves, as if they are saying, “Don’t bother with me, I’ll just let you down.” Still, the beauty of books is that each one has the potential to transport the reader out of everyday life into a new world, to create a temporary escape into a new reality where problems are solved by other people and the weather is always perfect. So I will continue to read books, to find new lands, to connect with new characters, but when a book comes a long that is this profound, I find myself a bit reluctant to leave the world behind that I have come to love so much. And out of respect for the book, I will wait a few days before embarking on a new adventure.

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