I love books! I love the way they feel in my hands. I love the books with the thick, elegant pages. I love the way new books smell (old ones, not so much). I love their weight in my hands as I snuggle into the covers on a cold night, fighting the heaviness of my tired eyes. Did I mention that I love books?
My husband is not a reader, he looks at me with my perpetual evening book in my hands with a mixture of envy and distain. The envy is because he can manage about two pages before he either losses interest or falls asleep. The distain is because books take up a lot of space in my tiny house. Each of the kids has their own personal book collection. I have three totes of books in the upstairs hall way, they are homeless poor little loves. I have books on the small ledge of my upstairs landing. I have a book case in the living room filled to overflowing. In my bedroom I have a bookshelf of the books I have either just read or plan to read. I feel a slight panic as my pile of "to be read" books begin to dwindle. As I write this, I realize there is a really good possibility that I am a book hoarder.
Traditionally I have a genre I read. I really like historical fiction. My favourite author is Bernard Cornwell http://www.bernardcornwell.net/. I find his writing to be mesmerizing. His books are raw and violent and the way I imagine the times that he writes of to be. When I read his books I feel like I have fallen through the proverbial rabbit hole and am a part of the story I am reading. When I finish his books (which sadly I tend to read in a day or so) I feel both a sense of loss because I am finished reading, and also feel smarter.
Recently one of my friends on facebook posted a book quiz. It was something like "How literate are you?" The gist of it was how many of the books labeled as "The Classics" have you read"? I love books, how could I not ace this quiz... I didn't. It turns out that the only "classics" that I have read were those I read more than two decades ago in high school. I was completely taken a back. From that moment on I began my quest. I would read books outside of my interests. I would re-read, and the classics by my own free will!
Lucky for me I have an AMAZING public library. Our "Friends of Tweed Public Library" board put together two AMAZING, HUGE book sales every year, one in the summer and one just before Christmas. The meeting room is filled to overflowing with beautiful, almost new books. My girls and I nearly skipped through the hoards of people, gathering heavy armfuls of beautiful books. I collected books that I would not normally read. I gathered critically acclaimed books to read. I gathered books to do me the six months between book sales. It turns out I liked many of the critically acclaimed books.
The feel good end of this story is that I could now ace that quiz if I took it today (of course I can't find that stupid quiz now that I'm so literate). I have now read many critically acclaimed books, and can now sound like a smartie pants when I speak to people. I now have a huge supply of books to read, and I helped support my AMAZING public library, yup I'm a hero.