Monday, July 23, 2012

Book Affair

         I have loved books forever. Not just "like" love, but "love" love. My mother made sure that I got a library card when I was two years old, (not sure why she did, but I always remember having one) I was signed up for the Summer Reading Program every year at my local library, and I read every book available that even remotely interested me, one summer I went A-Z, picking kids books I hadn't already read. My childhood dream was to live in the library, surrounded by the smell of books, whose pages held so much life for me, a girl from the country with few friends and even fewer world travels, secret gardens and best friend clubs. My first job was at the library, shelving books. I was always annoyed at the Lillian Jackson Braun books (there were far too many), and loved shelf reading, making sure the books were in absolute perfect order and perfectly spaced from the front edges of the shelves.
         I relied so heavily on the library for my fix. I had a few books of my own, but at the point that I would finish one book per day, I hardly ever got new books from the elusive bookstore or the even more sought after school book fair. Remember those tissue paper thin book order forms from school? I would read and reread them, only to be careful not to ask for any, as dealing with the disappointment of not getting a book or series was far too great for my little heart. Oh, and boxed sets were stuff my dreams were made of. Birthday money one year went to a huge book containing all of the works of the Bronte sisters. Not a good choice, the book was so large and unwieldy.
       And now? Now I have discovered thrifting for gobs of books, trading for books, the sweet satisfaction of being able to come home from the bookstore with a new book or two. I am always sure to visit the local bookstore wherever we travel and add one to my collection. My son is lucky enough to have books from every trip we have ever been on.
our poor books are in "temporary" chaotic housing right now
               I still dream of one day being surrounded by a book collection, and I hope it grows and grows until the books cover at least 3 walls in a room of my home. Fiction, non-fiction, it does not matter. What matters is that the words are legible, pages are not torn, and that the first page takes me to a different world.
            Books transform minutes, days, entire lives. Have you ever seen someone learn to read? Watched their face as the lines become letters, the letters become words, the words become art, learning? The moment of sweet clarity.
          Oh, and I married a literature major. Coincidence?


Thank you in advance for sharing your lovely thoughts.