Bea says that the art of reading is slowly dying, that it's an intimate ritual, that a book is a mirror that offers us only what we already carry inside us, that when we read, we do it with all our heart and mind, and great readers are becoming more scarce by the day.
Many of my favorite quotes by Carlos Ruiz Zafón are about books and reading. In his novels, books have an almost magical quality. A bit of a love letter to Barcelona as well as to literature, The Shadow of the Wind is the tale of a boy's search for the story behind a book he takes home on his first trip to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. The book and its author are shrouded in mystery, and someone is trying to find all the copies that remain and burn them. As we watch Daniel, the boy who chooses the book, grow into a young man, we find that he also has complications in his own life--a mother who died when he was young, a mysterious friend whose history is vague and who is hunted by a dangerous member of the Civil Guard, and a series of seemingly doomed loves. His investigation into the history of his book draws him and those he loves into a complex and dangerous web. The book has lots of atmosphere, a sense of humor, and plenty of romance and suspense. It also moves gracefully, rather than at the breakneck pace of most modern thrillers. For me, it took some time to settle into that pace, but once I did, it was a delicious ride.