"Always read something
that will make you look good
if you die in the middle of it."
P. J. Rourke
I can't say that I have always loved books. In fact, while I was in school books held no special appeal ... as evidenced by my remarkably un-distinguished GPA. I read to pass a test, to understand street signs, to determine the price of things and to check the TV Guide for my favorite show. Owning books was also a pretty low priority.
Somewhere along the way of growing, maturing, surviving ... I discovered
But books and I have a quirky history!
I think my experience with books covers the whole gamet of emotions. At first I couldn't care less about books, and then ... the space ship hovered over me and I loved them (go figure). But my love seemed to be limited to owning, not reading. I wanted to "own" the knowledge inside the book. My brain wasn't really engaged, just my hands, and owning the information was the goal ... next best thing to having it installed my brain.
The logic on this is a bit faulty, I know, but it worked for a long time.
Forty-two years ago, I married a man who also valued books. He, however, actually read all his books - where I only read some of mine - remember, owning was better than reading. Together we built a huge library. We haunted new and used book stores. We bought book shelves to house those books. We inventoried our books. And when we changed residences, we paid dearly for having so many (heavy) boxes of books to move. We made books a major part of our lives.
And then 5 years ago, the serendipity that is life began to take my husband's vision. Although he still retains some sight, the voracious reader and owner of books, sold off his entire library and replaced them with audio versions. And I adapted with him. Audio books were "better", so I thought. You could listen to books while cleaning, while cooking, while knitting, while walking.
Now I have changed again ... I want to hold the book in my hand. I want to feel the paper, admire the cover art, turn the pages and hold my place with a book mark. Holding audio books - tapes or disks, or even using the newest technology - the Kindle - just doesn't do it.
My book ownership is modest - pretty much what I can hold in my small night stand. I am pretty selective now in what I buy. If it is fiction, I am happy to read it and pass it on to new hands. The book doesn't live with me forever.
But more importantly, I want to actually read all my books. Shocking, I know!! :-)
And finally ... I am happy to use my wonderful public library! How's that for a moment of quirky personal growth!
My love-affair with books is back!