Reading a classic book

I am, for the first time, reading a book many, if not most of my friends have read, Sense and Sensibility. Jane Austen suits me, so I’m not surprised I am enjoying it. There is much to like, and in Chapter 42 I wanted very much to be in the splendid place therein described.
“Cleveland was a spacious, modern-built house, situated on a sloping lawn. It had no park, but the pleasure-grounds were tolerably extensive; and like every other place of the same degree of importance, it had its open shrubbery, and closer wood walk, a road of smooth gravel winding round a plantation, let to the front, the lawn was dotted over with timber, the house itself was under the guardianship of the fir, the mountain-ash, and the acacia, and a thick screen of them altogether, interspersed with tall Lombardy poplars, shut out the offices……stealing away through the winding shrubberies, now just beginning to be in beauty, to gain a distant eminence; where, from its Grecian temple, her eye, wandering over a wide tract of country to the south-east, could fondly rest on the farthest ridge of hills in the horizon.”
Later in the same chapter is another passage that I identified with:
“Marianne, who had the knack of finding her way in every house to the library, however it might be avoided by the family in general, soon procured herself a book.”
I know where the books are in a lot of houses too. My sister, Ruth has a collection in the closet of the room I occupy when I visit. My grandmother Wheeler had a bedroom lined with shelves of National Geographic magazines. My friend, Bette, keeps stacks of books and magazines in the room where I sleep, and I keep shelves and baskets of books around the house, especially for visiting grandchildren.
Two of the many pleasures of reading are transportation to novel places and situations, and affirming the commonality we share with others, regardless of time or place.


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