Learning from books

It’s obvious why Camus’ The Plague came to my mind at the weekend: “[Rieux] … knew … that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years…”

IMG_4288I read it again quickly in the past couple of days & flashed back to being so gripped by it as a young teen that I stayed up into the night reading it. As I finished, I noticed a blister on my arm, and ran to my bemused mum calling out that I had the plague. In the unheated house we lived in, we went to bed with cylindrical metal hot water bottles stuffed into old socks, & I’d failed to notice mine burning me through a hole in the sock. At that age, and being so literal minded, I didn’t spot the book’s metaphorical meaning….. As Camus says, there is much we can learn from books, if we pay attention.