I was speaking to a friend earlier tonight at a church function and I discovered that he had read Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers. It was like discovering that he knew my cousin or something. (Actually, I haven’t read Gaudy Night yet, but I’ve read nearly every other Lord Peter Wimsey novel).
I like that. It’s a warm and comfortable thing that assures you that the world isn’t so very big after all.
Realizing someone has read the same book as you have is rather like realizing you have a mutual friend. There’s the same gleeful surprise, the same sharing of introductions and stories.
I suppose though that in many ways, books are mutual friends. When I was nine years old, my best friends were probably Aragorn and Prince Imrahil. The fact that neither of them existed had very little bearing on that reality. Today, of course, my closest friends inhabit the same world I do, but I still have a fond place in my heart for those companions of childhood who were never too busy to spend time together and never insulted or belittled me. And too, a place for the new acquaintances I meet between the covers of a book.