I love books, always have, always will. If I had to choose my favorite fiction book it would be Ken Follett's, The Pillars of the Earth. I've read it three times and each time I give it away to someone so they can also enjoy it. Then I end up buying another copy and re-reading it. It is an historical novel about the building of a fictional cathedral in 12th century England.
That book led me to another fascination which is cathedrals. Not just cathedrals but medieval cathedrals. I love looking at them though the only famous one I have visited is Notre Dame in Paris.
My husband and I sat outside in a cafe about 50 ft away drinking Cokes at a small table. We just sat and stared at the building, awestruck at its immensity and age. Pilgrims came there to pray before leaving for the Crusades, huge masses of humanity have moved through that cathedral and important historical events have occurred there or nearby. It's inspiring to realize that the cathedral has stood so long even as times have changed tremendously. I had just read the book for the second time in preparation for our visit, something I would recommend to anyone about to visit any cathedral. The huge undertaking of building a cathedral coupled with the political intrigue of the times was still fresh in my mind and made the visit not just an ordinary stop on a typical Paris tour but instead made the visit come alive for me.
My son is reading the book now and I'll probably re-read it again when he is done ;-)