Thursday, April 18, 2013

Reading . . . a Lifetime of Companionship With Books

I guess it's really no mystery why I inevitably end up with my nose in a book at almost every opportunity.  I learned to read when I was four years old and I can clearly remember the first time I read words out of the reading primer I had, the absolute delight at having successfully translated those marks on the page into language both my mother and I could understand.  Yes, it was the Dick and Jane book, but it was nowhere but 'up' from that point.

Reading has always been my safe haven . . . the entry into that magical world of literary entertainment or learning that has always fascinated me.  During my growing up years I was prone to have four or five books "going" at once, scattered all around my house, so that no matter what my mom gave me to do, there was a book handy and I could keep it in one hand while struggling to do something with the other.  I never had any trouble keeping the stories straight either.

Now I have walked through several decades of life, raised children with my hubby of many years, and all through those personal and professional times I have had my friends:  my books.  Our recent move turned out to be far more expensive than we planned, largely because of all my books.  My hubby would have gladly had a book-burning for the whole neighborhood but it would have been like a wholesale massacre of my "friends."  And in recent years, reading for enjoyment as well as for book reviews has taken up time but none of those moments spent reading have been difficult.  Now my hubby gets irritated when he sees my nose in a book more often than not, but as much as he loves to read it has never been the safe place for him as it has for me.

Now with my daughter's near and close skirmish with cancer, reading has been where I have gone for stress relief.  I know others who love games on the computer or their iPads or iPods or cell phones, but I just have my stack of books and that's where I find it so relaxing to roam amid the lives of others, learn about far away places and times long gone, and appreciate the scholarship and efforts of those writers who give us non-fiction tomes as well as committed literary artisans who craft stories of fantasy.   How I wish I could have done something like that.  Of course, I realize I can do things others can't, so I guess it's important that I appreciate and treasure my own gifts as well as others.

I just know that reading has been a constant in my life for all but about four years, and I can't conceive of it ever being different.  I wonder sometimes what I would do if my sight were to be threatened or fail.  I guess that would open up the world of audiobooks.  In any event, I don't think I can ever imagine my life without the companionship of books.  They are truly the doorway to the world and to a kind of tension release I don't think I could have done without.

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