Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Bookshelf

When I was younger it was near impossible to get me away from my books. I lived for lazy afternoons spent curled up in my room reading, oblivious to the rest of the world around me. My parents used to spend hours trying to get me outside, wishing for me to get some fresh air, play, be a kid, anything instead of whittling my hours away in the imaginary lands of the Boxcar Children, the Babysitters Club and Judy Blume. I hated being outside, the dewy humidity and the hot sun made me sick and although there were plenty of kids my age to play with, I never really felt any sort of longing to join in. On occasion I would accidentally place my feet outside the front door, just enough to observe the happenings of the kids around me but it would last only minutes and back to my room I would go.

As the years have gone by and I am now a hefty thirty years old the one thing that has remained consistent in my ever changing persona is the fact that I still love books. My world often revolves around the books in which I am reading, my favorite stories quoted and thrown in at random moments of a conversation. I carry my Nook everywhere I go and the ability to have an entire library in the shape of a sleek slim electronic device is the technological advancement of a lifetime. I get excited when I log on the Barnes and Noble home page and there are hundreds of titles and suggestions on what to read next- all based on books I have previously read. And although I absolutely adore my little Nook there is nothing quite like the feeling of finishing a book and placing it on the bookshelf amongst all the others. Even the worst ones get their spot up on the shelf as an appreciation to the author who took the time to write the story for me to read.

In all honesty I probably should have been a librarian, although a long desired dream of mine is to open my own little shop and spend my days talking books and working on one of my own. Dark wood shelves and rows and rows of books, holding authors chats with customers and poetry readings in the evenings, spending my days helping others find those words that have the ability to actually change a life… or at least change the way we think. In the meantime, or at least until I win the lottery, learn how to run a small business and find something interesting enough to actually write a book about; I take comfort in the fact that I have a list of things a mile long just waiting to be read.

Even more comforting is that I have a daughter who adores being read to, often climbing up in my lap, a pile of books in hand exclaiming “Read this.” She is beginning to develop her favorites: she has a soft spot in her heart for Green Eggs and Ham and loves the book about the little tiger who doesn’t want to go to bed. She can read along to certain parts of Five Little Monkeys and absolutely enjoys hearing about Lila Ladybug and her party. However, our favorite to read together is Good Night Moon and our favorite part is the page of the old lady whispering hush. We read it over and over, each time Lilah waiting to get to the old lady... and when we do she gently puts her finger to her nose and whispers HUUUUSHHHHH. My heart melts a little bit each time I hear her do this, and the realization hits that maybe, just maybe I have passed along this love of words to my daughter. The thought always makes me smile as I go to place the book back on her shelf, giving it a place to call home for the night.

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