Sunday, December 4, 2011

Afiyet Olsun, İzzy Style

Contrary to what the title may suggest, this post is not about food. I promise I will write about Turkish cuisine very soon. It is amazing, it is delicious, it is fantastic, but no, this post isn't that post. This post is about books.

If you know me, you probably have known for a long time my love of words. And if you don't know me, you should figure that out fast. I love words. Expression is everything and communication is important. I love books more than I love a lot of things in life. I could survive on books alone for nourishment (maybe supplemented with chocolate and coffee?). I could definitely be the young lawyer in 'The Bet', one of my favorite short stories by Chekhov.

I almost always have a book on me, and if I'm of the inclination (it seems to me that I am always of the inclination) I might pull it out and turn a few pages. It might be philosophical and deep like 'Sophie's World' or 'War and Peace.' It might be lighthearted like the 'Harry Potter' series. It might be one of my dog-eared, war-torn favorites like 'The Book Thief' or 'Life of Pi.' Truth is, when it comes to reading, I get around the library.

Now, why am I talking about this? Books... not really seemingly related to my adventures in Turkey, are they? Ha! Wrong! Books are my everything. Of course they're important. Of course I'm going to talk about them.

Books in Turkey are an interesting thing for me. The art of reading seems to be not as cherished as the use of modern technology. And don't get me wrong, I love technology, but nothing compares to the musty pages of a second hand book or the crisp scent of one right off the press. I would never trade in my paperbacks for a Nook or a Kindle, no matter how much lighter-weight they are and how much more efficient. I like the heft of a book, the feel of the paper between my fingers. I'll always travel with my backback of books, ready to sit down and pull one out anywhere, at any time. And if I'm starving, well, I've got words to eat and if truly necessary, I've got a good source of fiber.

Eating in Turkey is important - you go to someone's house and they'll feed you, whether you're hungry or not. Eating is just as important to me, but I think that words are sufficient snacks, and if you're reading something good, I think you should enjoy.

When I see someone reading, I want to say 'afiyet olsun,' bon appetit, enjoy! Books are amazing, books are wonderful, books are delicious! Books are a good source of sustenance for the imagination. Eat up!