“I need you to understand something. I wrote this for you. I wrote this for you and only you. Everyone else who reads it, doesn’t get it. They may think they get it, but they don’t. This is the sign you’ve been looking for. You were meant to read these words.”
When you read an intense, packed book like the last one I reviewed, you want to read something that makes you feel you’re flying through it to even it out. I wanted something short enough that I could read it within a few hours, yet something that gave me something to chew. I was, in particular, looking for something like The Lover’s Dictionary. Unique, short, yet not “silly”. I picked up another Levithan from my collection, but it didn’t quite stick. I may go back for it another day. Instead, I found I Wrote This For You, by Iain S. Thomas (who goes by the name pleasefindthis on GR and his blog).
I Wrote This For You is a collection of photographs (by Jon Ellis) and quotes/poems/aphorisms/observations. It begins with the quote above. It is interesting to note that each person who reads it will interpret it in his or her own way. As for me, while some of it did not resonate with me on a personal level, this is one book in which I went furiously highlighting a sentence or passage on nearly every page, especially in the first half. I felt like it was an intimate conversation between two people and I was an observer. Detached, but not eavesdropping. Like I had every right to be there, yet it was not a story to call my own.
There were some passages though, that I desperately wished were part of my own story – words I wanted hear, but never did, perhaps. Words I wanted to say but never found the courage to.
“I read what you leave in public spaces. The songs you reference. The quotes you quote. I know it’s about me. I can feel you thinking of me. I want to tell you that I know and admit that I feel the same. But I can’t.”
There are quotes like that that hit you hard.
Now, given the fact that I went looking for something like The Lover’s Dictionary, a comparison of some sort is natural, though unfair. I liked Levithan’s book for its uniqueness, and its layers. The fact that it had a story that you had to piece together like a puzzle. I Wrote This For You is honest, insightful, observant and almost makes your scars bleed. But it reads like a blog, not a book. That put me off a little bit. There’s no real connection between the chapters, though you can try hard to find some, or even fool yourself into believing there is, but they are all separate pieces. If it weren’t for that, I’d put both on the same level. A good read, nevertheless. Made my weekend!