22 October 2012

7. book that you can quote/recite

I thought this was going to be easy.

But then I realized that Shakespeare plays don't count as books (I have a theory that people who hate Shakespeare do so because they were forced to experience him the wrong way; if you learned about hot chocolate by having it shot up your nose, I bet you'd hate that too), and neither do musicals (I was all set to say Les Miserables! but then I was like, oh, wait...), and then it got a heck of a lot harder. I spent several days trying to come up with something interesting and unique, but the truth is, the only real book that I can quote/recite from is the Bible.

Yep...I was a King James kid. Which actually came in really handy while
learning to decipher Shakespeare.

This is because I have 12+ years of Sunday school and 2 summers of Bible camp under my belt. Even now, there are great swathes of Romans that immediately summon memories of linoleum floor tiles, chalk dust, and chairs covered in what feels like cheap carpeting. (Which is a pity, because after all the work he put into that, Paul deserves better.) I can't read Psalms for more than a couple pages without coming across a few verses that I can recite from memory, just because I know a song based on them.

This knowledge has its uses. I spend a lot of time yelling "CONTEXT" at my television when politicians, etc. quote Bible verses as if they know what they're talking about, and when a writerly friend texted me asking for Bible verses she could twist for a character (a con artist) who was giving a sermon to wheedle people out of their money, oh man, I about buried her in sound bytes.

But the Bible is a funny thing. You can spend years committing it to memory (yes, I know people who do this) and still not understand it, and you can take it Seriously Literally or treat it as Oh What Quaint Folk Stories, but it will come up with something to throw you for a loop. I won't get into all that in this post, because that's not really my point, but I just started reading it again (I can't recite the Ten Commandments in order anymore; someone is gonna come confiscate my Sunday school diploma if I don't shape up), and I gotta tell ya...it's a funny thing.

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