I can spend hours in a book store if provided a comfortable place to sit. When the days are cold, and life just needs a little break, I like to play Tova's Bookstore Game. It's free and really gets the mental juices flowing.
I open five books at random, from different sections in the store, and read a page or two. Roughly 10-12 pages total.
Then I try and make a story out of it in my mind. The only rules are: I can't use those 5 categories the next time and actual information from the pages must be used.
It sounds easy until you hit technical fields like Accounting, or Computer Coding, or whatever. I try to use every single thing I grasp from reading a page or two. So for example, I can't pick up a biography of Elvis and then make him into an accountant because the next book is about accounting. I have to use some of the actual information on the page.
Don't worry, I'm not going to post one of those rather bizarre creations. Yet. heh.
No, the point, (finally) of this article is a book I discovered while story surfing at the local B&N.
I started my game just like always. I picked up a book covered in a brown paper sack. That was promising, I always like a little spice in my stories. In my experience, magazines that come with bag type covers usually have spice to spare. So how fortunate to begin the game with something, well HOT.
I opened it, and by the first page, game over. I couldn't put it down. I sat and read the entire thing.
The premise of the book is simple. Write your inner most secret on a post card and send it to the author, Frank Warren. Frank believes people are more apt to be truthful in anonymity than in real person.
So I sat and read the inner most secrets of hundreds. Some made me mad, some made me so sad my heart broke, some scared me, and some brought laughter to my lips. Sometimes it wasn't the words, but the actual card which illuminated the secret.
The book is not new, so I'm late to the party. But, damn. What an idea.
Sitting there in that bookstore, smelling Starbucks and pastries, I felt connected to the human condition more than ever before. It was like a stranger leaned over and whispered their single most best kept secret in the middle of a crowd.
And occasionally.....that secret is my own.
This book clarifys better than any other, with its short terse senteneces and often colorful postcards......The human condition both exalts, and afflicts us all.