“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.” — Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman
Nora Ephron’s been gone for more than a year. Yet, I miss her humor because she was hilarious. Not just a great writer who never failed to entertain an audience, but someone who could get her point across whether she wrote for the screen or authored a book. I’ll never forget the first time I read I Feel Bad About My Neck… And yes, I’ve read it more than once, especially since I’m…wait for it…getting older by the minute. The premise starts out hitting the highs and lows of plastic surgery and all the tools available that come with that choice, the Juvaderm, botox, etc. How can you not love a woman who makes you laugh about how a neck is a telltale sign of aging? To quote from the book, “The neck is a dead giveaway. Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth. You have to cut open a redwood tree to see how old it is, but you wouldn’t have to do that if it had a neck.”
Getting older isn’t for the faint of heart.
But that isn’t all I got from Ms. Ephron. Like the quote at the top, “Reading is everything,” Nora makes it clear reading was her escape. And in that we share a like-mindedness. I find that when I’m not reading, I wish I were. I find that reading allows me to drift into someone else’s fantasy, and experience new places, new worlds. I’ve said this before but I think I should repeat it here. To read a treasured book is a gift. Books are special things that take us to places we might not otherwise ever get to go.
Coming across Nora Ephron’s book yesterday in my stack of beloved authors I read and then re-read again, it gave me pause to consider how very much I loved Nora’s sense of humor and her writing. And with it, she reminded me that reading gives me such great pleasure and joy.
So thank you, Nora Ephron! You made me laugh along the way. And you are missed.