In case you haven’t caught on just yet, I’ll let you in on a not so secret secret: I’m kind of obsessed with Jane Austen.
This love goes back to sometime in high school when I picked up a copy of Emma and never truly ever put it back down. The characters nestled deep into my heart and to this day I find myself going back to read those books again and again.
So when I saw that the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice (told you, nerd alert) was coming up I just knew we had to celebrate. I don’t know about you, but I don’t agree with the idea that books are sacred and need to be handled delicately and only with clean hands. Books are friendship and romance and adventure, just waiting to burst out of the seams. You don’t sit primly holding a book! You curl up on the sofa, you leave it sprawled open, you drop your tomato soup on the corner, you smudge chocolate chip cookies on it’s cover, and YES you take it into the tub with you! And if accidents happen well you’ve got a great story to tell about that time you dropped your mom’s Pride and Prejudice book into the tub of steaming hot water.
Now I foresaw some grumblings from the male portion of my family if I tried to get everyone to sit down and read P&P together (can you even imagine?! I’m weak just thinking about it). Instead, I made some delicious brown sugar chicken (forever renamed as brown shug chicky chick),and some teabag shaped, Austen inspired shortbread cookies. I decorated the living room a la Austen and sat my little tushy down (having called dibs on the big TV many hours previous. This is necessary in a house with an xbox wielding brother. ) to watch the Keira Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice. My mom was all for watching the six hour long version but since we started this endeavor at about 7pm on a Monday I really didn’t think it was wise so Colin Firth was saved for another day. Did I mention my mother also loves Jane Austen? I think we both shed tears over that P&P book. (She still has it, on a shelf that hides the wrinkled up half.)
So thank you, Jane Austen, for creating your hilariously believable and beloved characters. Without you, this book worm’s multiple weeks of grounded would have been suffering indeed. Unfortunately for my mother, you existed and therefore “grounding” meant nothing to me but extra time to read.