Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A PASSION FOR READING


When I was 10 my most favorite possession was my library card. I loved our trips to the local library every two weeks. Such a tiny hole-in-the-wall kind of place with tightly packed shelves pressing in from all sides in a cozy kind of way. The air was filled with a musty bookish smell - the kind of smell you remember all your life. It's a smell you can still find in second hand or used book stores. It's a smell that immediately transports me back to Hardy Boy mysteries and late nights reading by flash-light under the covers.
 
One of my favorite family memories from my childhood ... It was a dark and stormy night (LOL) literally, the wind was blowing so hard it was blowing the rain sideways as can only happen on the coast during a storm. We lost power but that didn't create much hardship for us. We were prepared with wood heat and a wood cooking stove and lots of candles. After dinner each of us found a cozy chair with a candle close by and snuggled down with a warm quilt and a favorite book. For the longest time the only sounds were the turning of the pages as the wind raged and howled outside.
 
I could never in a million years have dreamed what reading books could be like for me now. I have all my favorites on the shelves, in fact, the movers gave us a hard time about all the books we did choose to move. It was hard decision time when I had to sort through all my books choosing the favorites for packing and donating the rest to family, friends, and local libraries.
 
Fast forward now to reading in the 21st century. I have two new ways to read and I absolutely love each for different reasons. When I got my first IPod I was thinking mostly about music and then I discovered audible books. It wasn't long before my membership was securely established for a year's worth of "good reads" from Audible.Com. My audible books are special treats used to pass the time and entertain me when I have a big "frogging" job on a quilt helping to pass the time. All of a sudden I found myself "reading" again. Many times I choose books that might sound interesting because I love the story-telling voice of the narrator.
 
However, the best part about my IPod books is how they help me get to sleep. I've always been one to listen to talk radio when I can't sleep. There is something about someone talking softly in the background that helps my whirling brain to shut down at night so I can get a decent number of hours of shut-eye.
 
Even though I love my IPod books, my daughter has given me a hard time saying I'm not really reading. My answer to her these days: once again I'm actually reading the words on the page with my favorite new book ... my ebook from Barnes & Noble ... my NOOK. I love the way I can preview a book from anywhere that is available to the internet; I love how I can have lots and lots of books with me when I travel in a space lighter and smaller than a paperback book; and I love it when I actually fall asleep while actually reading the words on the page. Don't get me wrong - I still have my IPod all charged up and ready to go with a favorite selection just in case. I usually wake up to turn off the light thinking "That was a great power nap!" and can't get back to sleep. That's when the earbuds come back out and I come closer to getting the full recommended 8 hrs of sleep each night.
What am I reading right now? I just finished ...
“The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts,
it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind.
It is a moral illumination.” Elizabeth Hardwick
graphic supplies from Scrap Girls
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