How Do I Love Thee?

Let me count the ways . . . .

1. I love the way books look.
2. I love the neat way books stack on a shelf or in a box.
3. I love the way books smell. A fresh one or a used one, it doesn't matter.
4. I love the way a book feels in my hands, its denseness and smoothness.
5. I love the anticipation I feel as I open the cover of a brand new novel.
6. I love the familiarity and comfort that washes over me when I open up a well-beloved book for the umpteenth time.
7. I love the feeling of resolution and completion as I finish a well-written journey.

Should I stop yet?

Oh my, this topic is one dear to my heart. I admit that I am a total bibliophile. I love books. I always have. I suppose it began as a young child as my mother read aloud to me. I remember sitting at her feet in the shade of the peach tree in our back yard. The books she read to me awakened my imagination. I became Mary Lennox in her Secret Garden. I lived Jo Marsh's trials right along with her and the other Little Women. I completely empathized with Ramona Quimby and got many ideas for tantrums and misbehavior from her.

I believe that reading as a child opens up a door in your mind and heart. The books you read at that tender age become a part of you in a way that no other reading for the rest of your life will. When you revisit those stories again in adulthood, whether just for fun or as you read to your own children, you feel an echo of your youth.

I love to reread books. There as so many books on my to-read list that perhaps I shouldn't waste my time rereading, but I can't help myself. Some books are like old friends to me. I open their pages and I feel comforted. I feel like I am home. How can you call visiting home and old friends a waste of time? And not just the books are friends, but the characters within.

Anne Shirley truly lives for me. I admire her and want to emulate her.

Elizabeth Bennett is like my alter-ego. Whenever I read Pride and Prejudice I somehow trick myself into thinking that it's about me, not some fictitious character.

Oh, I could go on and on.

But that's only half the story. That only covers fiction, memoirs, biographies, and any other genre about people.

I love non-fiction as well. That genre has served me well. How else would I have learned to paint my living room, install wainscoting in my basement, potty train my daughter, cook delicious meals, keep my house organized, sew Halloween costumes, crochet afghans, etc. etc.

Sure, I could learn by asking someone to teach me. But that's not my style. I've always been a do-it-yourself kind of gal, and the local library has become my best friend whenever I'm wanting to learn something new.

When in doubt, find a book. There's a book for everything. There are books to teach you new skills. There are books to give you ideas. There are books that entertain. There are books that instruct. There are books that uplift. There are books that educate. There are books that transport you to a new place. There are books that take your mind on vacation and give you respite from your daily life.

I love to read. I will read forever. I will read to my children, and I only hope that they will find it half as fulfilling as I have.


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