Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nothing Like A Good Book

I love books.

I love children's books.

I love many adult fiction books (not to be confused with X-rated books).

And, it's an established fact that I love...cookbooks!

I'm a card-carrying member of the Borders and Barnes and Noble bookstore "rewards clubs."

I get what seems like daily emails from both outlets hipping me to the latest releases and discount deals.

I visit the library at least once a week. Usually more.

I receive a monthly (or sometimes more often) email from publishing house giant, Harper Collins, alerting me to "exclusive" tips on the latest and greatest releases in the children's writing world.

I love walking into a bookstore. I love the smell. I love the feel of a brand new book in my hands, the pages crisp and unblemished.

I love to read to my children, and they, likewise, love for me to read to them. Even my ten year old son will fuss at me if I don't read a chapter to him before bed. It has remained a ritual and one I will carry on until he will no longer allow it.

My mother has always been a reader. I recall vacations with her head buried in a book while I call, "Watch me Mommy!" as I cannon ball into the pool.

My grandfather (my mom's dad) was always reading. Always. Reading. He read worldly news. He read political news. It was heavy stuff for a seven year old girl. I recall a time when he found an article of particular interest and seemed to think I should read it. Something in Time Magazine or National Geographic (two of the periodicals I most recall lying around their house). It had apparently not roused my interest, so I faked reading it and handed it back to him.

Big mistake!


He then proceeded to quiz me on the article. Grandpa was no push-over. This much is true. I never fake-read with him ever again.

One year, for Christmas, he purchased for my two brothers and me a big book called "Our Fifty States," which was published by...you guessed it, National Geographic magazine. I'm not sure what I thought of the book at that moment, but I know I spent countless hours poring over the facts and data contained in that book. I have always, and possibly because of that book, had an interest in U.S. geography. The book now sits on a shelf just a few feet away from where I am sitting. My children have looked at it often.

Every year for Christmas, I know I will receive at least one book. My mom has been buying me a book every year for Christmas for a number of years now. I think it all began back when Robert Fulghum published his "All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten." I was a senior in high school that year. She then went on to purchase the follow-up titles that Mr. Fulghum penned during my college years. Other times, I would have a book I wanted and I'd put it on my Christmas wish list. It seems nowadays, it's always a cookbook I've read a review for that I'll request. Or maybe something she's heard about that she think will interest me.

I love the books that sit on the shelves of our home.. They represent not just stories that I have read, or information I have gathered, but more of a timeline through my life and how my interests have changed. Some bring back memories to a period in my life - I recall reading Hilary Rodham Clinton's "It Takes A Village" while I nursed my firstborn child.  Old college text books we've held onto in case we would need them for reference someday.  More dictionaries than I imagine any house could ever need!  And the children's books that have evolved from the thick-paged board books, to the colorful and exaggerated picture books to the chapter books that help my older two delve into a world of information and imagination that is endless. 

I've often thought I might like to have a Nook or Kindle (if the prices ever drop).  But I think I would truly miss the descriptive and colorful book jacket, the weight of the book on my lap, the turning of the pages and yes, I would miss, placing a finished book upon a shelf with great satisfaction.

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