I have a special fondness for paperbacks. A new paperback book feels sacred—the crisp pages and unbent spine contain an entire world, yet the book itself is vulnerable and fleeting. When finding an unscathed softback on the shelves of a library or hidden in the nooks of your favorite used bookstore, it feels like winning the lottery or perhaps like coming upon a stray animal while taking your daily walk. I feel chosen, as if this book has waited for me to find it. Has waited for me to be its first reader, or at the very least, its first reader to love its pages thin. Because while I treasure the perfection of the newly printed paperback, I value the story that each crease and bend tells. I love seeing the book fall open to a passage that I particularly enjoyed, a passage that I must have read over and over again, imprinting my fascination into the book’s physicality. It’s my dream to find myself in one of those paperbacks. And so I read, searching for answers. And so I write, with the hope of someday seeing my own words in my beloved print form.
I’m a huge fan of anything by Europa Editions, so it was such a pleasure to read Disoriental by Négar Djavadi as part of the Idlewild Women in Translation Book Club. Unsurprisingly, the book did not disappoint and is easily ranked as one of my favorites I’ve read since starting this blog. Admittedly, the writing style is not for everyone and did receive criticism from my fellow book clubbers; BUT even if the style is off-putting to some, the story is well-worth the journey. Read the full review to learn why this should be the next book on your to-read list!