by Jany Tomba
My books occupy many places in my house. When there are no more slots on the shelf, they find themselves piled on dressers, tables and chairs. The books on my night table are ready for a contre-danse. I like changing just like doing a dance where one changes partner. From the Bible to Deepak Chopra’s writings, yo fè lago kache avèk mwen.
The words! I read them over and over as my mind wonders. Others I let melt to become one with my spirit, which is why I don’t read everything! I feel all words are food for the soul.
I don’t stay too long on one book; I don’t do a linear reading. I go back so as to savor each letter.
But if I find a book I love, I will keep it for a long time. The one collection of books I cherish is the reigning corner of Edwidge Danticat , where I keep preciously a photo of us from many years ago.
At times I forget where I was and I start over again; this helps me to stay in the now. I am not rushing. This brings me to why I like poetry.
I used to love to read the Japanese Haikus of Basho but I recently received from Haitian writer Eddy Garnier his book of Haikus Gerbe en Germes Pake Gren in French and Creole; it is wonderfully simple and brings me back to my land.
I also adore the poems of Ketly P.Mars, in Feu de Miel. My favorite is the poem titled “Des Fois…
I have been reading the book La Fresaie de J-P Richard Narcisse . I feel like dancing when I read him. My head spins my feet tap. I so enjoy the details and the layers. . . et j’ai des voix dans la tête!
My favorite reference book is Les Mysteres du Vaudou by Laennec Hurbon. It is reader friendly with beautiful illustrations and easy to read charts. Whether one serves or not, this book should find a place in Haitian homes.
An old book of 1970, Contes d’Haiti, brings me back to my childhood and feeds my nostalgia. My Father, pioneer Haitian artist Geo Remponeau, did the illustrations; and the stories just warm my heart when I read them. It is in French and Creole. I hope to one day tell them to my little ones.
So you see, I’ m not a bookworm. I am full of joy of words and distraction. I could go on and on: I pile on books like I pile on beaded necklaces. I still have many more books to tackle, but I still like to buy more when I go to book fairs—just to support our writers.