“I cannot live without books.” Thomas Jefferson
I know, Virginia the blogger posted something yesterday & here she is again? But, it’s WORLD BOOK DAY. That’s right, today we celebrate reading, literacy and BOOKS.
As a self-confessed bookaholic (my sister invited me to Celebrate Recovery at her church for my ‘book thing’), I have collected a few books: a whole study with floor to ceiling bulging shelves, overflowing shelves in my room & guestroom; yet piles of books in corners still await shelf space.
You get the idea – I like books. I really like books!
When I was a child, my Mama took my younger brother and I to the library every week. We happily carried out piles of books, read them cover to cover, then returned the next week for new piles. The cool thing: my brother eventually became a librarian (and has been one for 18 years.) And, yes, I still enjoy weekly visits to the library.
Reading. Books. Reading. Reading. More Books. Books. Reading.
Why do we read?
Books transport us to other places, to new worlds, to different parts of our world that develop and stretch our imagination muscles. When we get lost in a good story, we touch something outside ourselves that takes us away from our humdrum existence.
We read to know. To know more about others, about ourselves.
Books teach us how to: read, speak, learn, garden, travel, do maths, and understand a host of subjects in textbooks we muddle through in school…
…or how to cook, like these favorite cookbooks in my kitchen, that (in addition to 200+ in the study) also make food exciting, offering opportunities to try new things.
Books educate, not just how to cook or for classes in school, but on a seemingly infinite number of subjects. The challenges and triumphs in our world: what’s working & what’s not. History. Biography. The real lives of real people who have made a difference, often pushing the limits of what’s possible. Then there are those who did horrible things, we read about them hoping never again.
Books introduce us to concepts, ideas, people. To situations and people outside of our experience, yet reading about them develops empathy in our hearts. Or, we resonate in eureka moments: hey, it’s not just me, others have faced this, struggled with this, too.
Books can astound us with beauty: the art of poetry, of blissful skies crafted in our imaginations from story, of characters we come to know like friends.
Books can make us laugh, and laugh, and laugh. (My Farside & Calvin & Hobbes books toted overseas to conflict zones may be tattered, but they sure helped lighten the load!)
Books build our sense of wonder (Science Fiction, Fantasy), or take us where we don’t want to go (like Horror, of which I am not a fan, creepy, creepy.)
Books make us think, and puzzle, like a good mystery: a good who done it?
C.S. Lewis said, “I can’t imagine really enjoying a book and reading it only once.” There are books to which we return, repeatedly, that become part of us. Books that touch our minds and hearts.
Then there are books of faith that zap our souls and draw us to Light and Love. Books so precious with truths that jump off the page, indelibly written in our minds and hearts.
We turn to them, again & again. Books that inspire, lead, guide us, and help us cope when hard times come knocking.
To be inspired. To inspire ourselves and to inspire others.
We read for our hearts, minds and spirits.
We read for the joy of reading.
“A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.” Madeleine L’ Engle
So, here’s a confession of a bookaholic. My idea of a good time: a big cup of tea, a good book, comfy chair… and no plans for the evening.
Happy World Book Day!
grace, peace & books!
Virginia : )
p.s. Gotta dash, it’s the last day of our Friends of the Williamsburg Regional Library annual Book Sale!! 😊