Tuesday, January 15, 2013

An Ode to the Interstate of Books

I have loved meeting new friends through blogging. But why does the
fun have to stop with just me getting to know them?? So each month
I'll bring a special guest that I have come to know
Today...I welcome Rachelle Rea to my blog.
The day I read the lovely Casey’s invitation for me to guest post on her blog, I went book hunting.

It was New Year’s Eve and in the week since Christmas Eve, I had completely blown away anything even close to resembling a schedule. It was bliss. It was chaos. It was a very real vacation just before I’d start this second semester of my junior year.

So on the last day of 2012, when people gathered in Times Square or prepared for parties in which champagne would flow and clocks would gong …I took my truck to the Interstate in pursuit of paperbacks.

I blared the radio high, merged with confidence, and accelerated too slowly for the humongous eighteen-wheeler behind me. Think me crazy, but I love the Interstate. I used to not love it. (That may have something to do with getting stuck on the shoulder one time while still learning how to merge. I just laughed at my computer screen because I can still oh-so-clearly remember my mother saying emphatically to her friend that she had to get off the phone because her daughter was stopped on the Interstate and she’d call her right back. Memories.) Now I have this endearing fascination with the Interstate and all its possible potential.

The Interstate can take me up or down the East Coast if I want it to. The Interstate has taken me across state lines to visit a friend. The Interstate takes me to this adorable little tucked-in-a-corner used bookstore in the city (my destination for the day before New Year’s).

I’ve never been the type of small-town girl sung about in the country songs I adore who wanted out, who wanted the interstate to lead her up, up, and away to a big city with bright lights where she could be free. That’s not for me.

But sometimes my own wanderlust scares me.

My affection for following the white line wherever it leads me has gotten me into trouble before. Once I drove right past the exit I usually take to go through town to get home. Then I drove right past the next one that I knew would take me the back way to my house. On purpose.

I kept going and wondered for a while what it would be like to keep going and not stop until I got tired or hungry or needed to fill my gas tank. Yes, sometimes my own wanderlust scares me. (I eventually took an exit. I meandered my way through back roads and the next county, but I made it home just fine and had a blast.)

I think that’s why I read and write. Because I know in the lifetime I’ve been given, I’ll never be able to see it all. I could puncture my passport with stamp after stamp but I’ll never see it all. Yet within a book I can go wherever—and whenever—I want. Opulent New York City ballrooms during the Roaring ‘20s. Sweltering 19th century Africa where missionaries carried their coffins with them. Curry-scented India or jewel-laden Turkey. Boston Common which hosted the shot heard ‘round the world. Medieval convents where nuns sing Psalms. The Wild West where spurs jangle. Nashville (I did warn you of my undying loyalty to country music earlier, right?).

There is an Interstate even bigger, wider, longer than the one outside my little town and I can hold it with one hand. Yes, that is why I read and write. Because I can go anywhere, see anytime, and be anyone within the pages of a book. Then I can close the book, come home, and be the better for the sights I’ve seen and the people I’ve met.

On New Year’s Eve, that quaint used bookstore proved a worthy adventure. I went home with a stack of books new to me, the promise of potential permeating from each page. And my own wanderlust looking a little less scary.

Learn more about Rachelle on her website!


  1. It was such fun to write this and a pleasure to be invited, Casey! Thank you! :)

    1. Thank YOU! You're going somewhere with this whole writing thing, Rachelle. I just know you are. :)

  2. :) Love this! I have very *rare* moments of wanderlust as I drive...it's so freeing & exciting.
    ...Until I realize I have *no* idea where I am. ;)

  3. *Sigh* I long to travel far and wide one day. I want to see the world, too. Awesome post as usual. Love you, girlie. :)

  4. I enjoyed getting to know Rachelle today. Thanks!

  5. Meg! I've had those moments, too! http://www.rachellerea.com/2012/02/finding-railroad-tracks.html

    Thanks, Debra. :)

  6. Ahh, now see...that's the girl I know and love! ;) Hehe. What a fun adventure (and yes, you ARE more daring then I! I always go right where I'm supposed to the way I'm supposed to and never veer off into those fun little paths). :) Glad you found a treasure trove of books...now in *that* we ARE alike!

    Love you friend!

  7. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to get to know Rachelle...though I think several already did. ;-) Great to see some new faces!

  8. Loved this! One of these days, Rachelle, I hope to meet you in person! I feel like we've a good bit of wanderlust, book love, and country music enjoyment in common that could make for some fun conversations. :)

  9. Ditto, Gillian! I don't think I knew you liked country music! 'Tis the best. ;) My book playlists have way too many guitars to be medieval European, but I don't care. :)


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According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

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