I’ll never forget my eldest daughter’s first word other than “mama”.  My mother worked in bookshop at the time and when we entered the door she looked about in wonder.  “Book!  Book!  Book!”  At 9 months old she knew them well.  I read to her morning, noon and night and when she nursed I read my own books.  Today she is still a reader and her most prized possessions line her bookshelves.

My mom is also a book lover and like me, she enjoys the escape and possibilities.  There is always a wish list on Amazon, gift certificates for holidays and books tucked into care packages.

So many possibilities…

Years ago when we moved to Holland, few possessions went with us.  With a meager weight allowance for relocation we left all but the essentials behind.  Discovering the English section at the library, consisting of one bookcase, felt like locating treasure and I must have read at least half of the volumes on offer.  We were excited when we stumbled upon books we could read at flea market stalls and scarcity made them precious.

I feel dismay when I notice the half-empty shelves at the library and see the collection diminishing.  Patrons are more likely to be surfing the internet than borrowing books and the library may be building up the collection of e-books due to popular demand.  I understand scarce resources and hard decisions, but miss exploring the aisles and coming home with a stack of books.  For 6 weeks I can learn about anything, and return the book so that someone else can do the same.  I like the ideas contained in books, and love the idea of circulation to keep the knowledge flowing.

“A Walk Across America” inspired me to walk from LA to DC.  When I was expecting babies and made the unusual choice to give birth at home, authors like Sheila Kitzinger and Janet Balaskas shared their wisdom and became trusted guides.  When I moved to Europe, the Internet was not what it is today and reading books was my way of preparing for the unknown.  Reading with my children awakened imagination and made new friends come to life.  Students loved it when I rewarded good behavior with stories and even “did the voices.”

Someone once said I was an open book.  Somehow “you’re a charged e-reader” doesn’t have the same ring.  Long live writers, readers, learners and books.


18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jane Fritz
    Oct 12, 2012 @ 20:41:55



  2. Katie
    Oct 12, 2012 @ 21:18:50

    Well said!


  3. The Sadder But Wiser Girl
    Oct 12, 2012 @ 23:11:35

    Yes! 🙂


  4. Andrew Petcher
    Oct 13, 2012 @ 00:27:40

    There is nothing like a well read, dog eared book!


  5. Leslie
    Oct 13, 2012 @ 04:36:15

    Nice closing paragraph!


  6. Living Success 3D
    Oct 13, 2012 @ 08:08:56

    Amen…there is nothing like the smell of a library…all those books co-mingling…long live books…libraries…and the people who make it possible.


  7. lautal
    Oct 15, 2012 @ 14:43:24

    There is a joke. “Kids, you have to respect your parents because they graduated school with no Internet and Google”. This is why we have read a lot of books. This is why we spent a lot of time in library. Great post.


  8. Trackback: What do kids read? Everything! | Robby Robin's Journey
    Nov 04, 2012 @ 10:57:36

    Exactly!! I love the feel of a book between my hands. I used to tell my kids to look words up in the dictionary. They were disgusted and said “our teacher said we should use I WAS HORRIFIED. it didn’t help that their teachers were about 20. Both kids can’t spell and never read. Oh, they are both in good colleges but reading for fun? Never!


    • puravida
      Nov 04, 2012 @ 11:11:13

      Maybe they’ll find their way back to books someday, or maybe they’re just makers that like to do instead of read. Or maybe schools are so focused on grades and test scores that they don’t allow time to nurture a love of reading. Sigh…


  10. Trackback: Library of Congress | World in your eyes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: