Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Bibliophile Me

As one gets older and reflects on the important parts of their lives...I would hope that the time spent with loved ones, blood related or not be at the top of the list.
Maybe a pleasent memory of how your childs small fuzzy head smelled the first time you held them. Maybe the memory that captures you is the first time you made love to someone you felt you had known all your life and had been waiting for since the beginning of time.

But I know I would have to add my love of books to my reflective memories. Not to bemoan my life as a child, but when one hops from home to home never knowing where they will end up, books seemed to me to be the only constant.

I carried a tattered copy of Pippi Longstockings everywhere I went. I've long since lost the book, but can remember reading it and the comfort it brought each night as the words lulled me to sleep.

As a child I read everything and anything...devouring books cover to cover and then all over again. E.B White, and Judy Blume were companions.

When I was a pre-teen, I'd read those big Readers Digest condensed books. They were good for 4-5 stories. And this is the age I discovered James Herriot and his tales of being a veternarian in soggy England. I'd laugh out loud at his tales. He swooped out of the pages and carried me to the mucky old wet barns to deliever calves with him. I was there. Edgar Alan Poe fasinated me too at this time.

Then as I grew older more was available to me. I read gothic romances, which somehow I still find pleasure in, even though I dislike romance books. I read Dorothy Gillman, and "Gone with the Wind", Margret Mitchell's one and only novel. My grandmother who is also an avid reader, bought me a copy of Marquis De Sades , "Justine" . I was shocked but also totally captivated. (she had no idea what it was, lol) I also read J.D. Salingers "Catcher In The Rye", I was Holden. "The Tale of Two Cities"....ahhhh, nothing to be said about it really, it speaks for itself.

I could, back then, read 5-7 books a week, if not more....drinking in every word as if I were thirsty and the words were the only thing that could quinch me.
Becoming and adult and falling in love with the portrait, painted by words that could make me laugh or cry or see the world so differently than I had before, opened a whole new world for me.

Now when I open a new book and hear that soft cracking noise of the spine or open an older book that has lost the crisp ping of pages being newly opened, and a musty smell lifts and finds its way to my memories...I know that I will be on an adventure shortly.

So books are a very big part of my life and I hope that my love for them will grow in my children.

Surely I'm not the only one who feels this way......


Blogger MrsFife said...


4:06 AM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

You are not alone.

I look back now and see that I used books to hide away from the world that was often cruel to a young chid struggling to understand why she was born different. I won every reading contest I ever entered. Would devour a book in an hour. Read high school and college level novels in sixth grade (Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Homage to Catalonia, 1984, Shakespear, Chaucer...)

I still devour books, but I've learned to balance my reading, have passed my love of books to my parents (they hated reading but I kept leaving them books..."I think you'd like this....") I hate to break a spine of a book....unless someone else has read it, my books generally look like no one has touched them since I never fully open a book....takes too long to turn the pages!

I love to open an old book and smell the past...a hint of meals gone by, a cigar smoked while reading a book with a glass of port...oops, theres a slight smill on that page, the smudges of fingers turning the pages....if books could tell a story about where they had been and who had read them....well, my books would all be scheduled to be buried with me - the stories they would tell!!

4:25 AM  
Blogger Deneen said...

I adored walking to the library, which then was in the old courthouse. The musty smells, no couches in that one, and curling up in a corner and reading for hours. Pippi Longstocking, Where the Lilies Bloom, Nancy Drew (hence my love for mysteries), are just a few. You're not the only one. In fact, I have amassed a bunch of "chapter books", including Little House, Boxcar Kids and more for my daughter when she's old enough.

7:14 AM  
Blogger DAWN said...

I could spend hours in a library and a bookstore. My obsession with books is as bad as my obsession with yarn. I have so much of both and I can't leave a bookstore or craftstore without a little something to tide me over. What could I possibly be hoarding all these books and yarn for? There must be a metaphor in there somewhere.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Lynlee said...

You should really place a disclaimer at the top of posts like that... You made me cry dammit!

I love books. I am quite proud of the fact that when we go to the toy section of any store Pax asks first if she can have a new book. I haven't been reading much lately - your post sent me straight to to order a couple I've been wanting to read for a while. Thanks for the reminder!

8:39 PM  
Blogger Priscilla said...

At first I thought you weere getting mushy on me but then I saw where you were going.
When I was a young one I could read, draw and crochet and not be disturbed or called on to do something.
I remember E.B. White and Nancy Drew and then on to the more grown up books like Ordeal by Hunger about the Donner Party and Helter Skelter in jr. high.
Now it is books about history with a story woven around it, I love those.
And there is a nerd in me I guess I read history books for fun.
By the way I pass on my love of reading on to my children and also many others through being a volunteer reading tutor at the kids school.

11:26 PM  

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