Into The Wild

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Dear Jon Krakauer,

I have never liked reading, to be frank. I understand that some people really like it, they get very interested in a book, become the characters themselves.

This is not to say I haven’t gotten interested in certain books, I just don’t think it’s all that great. I prefer working on cars, going on trail rides. Those are my go to activities, sitting still, face-in-book, not my ideal afternoon. I’ve had moments of envy of those who can travel through space and time simply by reading some words on glued together pieces of paper. I guess it’s similar to the way I make music through the string and wood that makes up my guitar. But my guitar doesn’t show me new worlds, and while my music is moving, it still hasn’t measured up to the way people describe books.

Textbooks, dictionaries, encyclopedias. They’re wells of knowledge made to spread that knowledge. That’s how I see most books. I see them as tools, nothing more. They aren’t just that to so many people though. What are they exactly to them?  I may never know, but I think I recently got a hint of the beauty of books, maybe the following will explain why.

Your book resonated with me. Into The Wild is the only book that has completely captivated me to this day.

I didn’t pick up the book as a personal read, I needed to read it for my 10th grade English class. I wasn’t all too excited. ‘Oh, another book my teacher will force me to suck the life out of with in depth observations.’ I like that you left it quite simple, but intriguing. That intrigue is what stopped me from setting the book down until I was 90 pages in.

The man, McCandless, I’ve met somebody like him. Every time I start to read, their personalities get more intertwined. And, no, the person I knew didn’t travel the country alone, nothing of that nature. But, they had a magnetic force to them. They inspired me with their stories, and they captivated me with their understanding of the world.

This book hurt me too. It hurt me because every time that man met somebody that grew close to him, he left them. And every time, I felt that. The person I knew was a friend, they were a good one to have, who I wanted to know for a while. However, that person had to leave, and I knew it. But the reason they left changed, and unlike McCandless, they didn’t go far away at all.

Your book has taught me to realize this: The reason has nothing to do with me. I should not be upset. For the record, they didn’t die, although it sounds kind of like that. But we no longer talk, which I didn’t realize would happen so quickly. We were friends for a few months, and then we weren’t. Then there was no communication, not even McCandless did that, at least he sent letters.

I’m still waiting for that visit, where they come back, even just to say hello. The visit Wayne got, the visit Jan got. Maybe it will happen, but maybe they’ll die in an abandoned bus in rural Alaska.

 

          Thank you for your book. I truly loved it.

                                                                        Alex Cronin

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