Welcome! If you’ve arrived here, you probably have this in common with me: I LOVE BOOKS. Real flesh and blood printed books. I mean, I love my Kindle, don’t get me wrong. It’s my first choice for middle-of-the-night reading or airline travel. But there’s something about holding a print book—the feel of the paper, the smell, the turning of pages. Nostalgia maybe. I don’t know. But I know I love books that I can hold in my hands. And I love libraries and bookstores where I can lose myself for hours.
I live to read. Besides writing, it’s my favorite thing to do. “Her nose is always in a book” has been true about me since before I can remember. My sixth-grade teacher recorded the number of books we read on our quarterly report card. I read 67 books that school year! Reading was my escape from a chaotic childhood, a safe haven where I could be transported to better times. I knew, even then, that reading was helping me see and learn about life outside my reality. It was helping me dream of something more.
Many years later I would encounter a similar sentiment in A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cossé. The full quote, at the top of page 150, is one of my favorite passages of all time. I will share an excerpt with you here:
“My grandfather left me a great deal more – a passion for literature and something additional, fundamental: the conviction that literature is important….Novels don’t contain only exceptional situations, life or death choices, or major ordeals; there are also everyday difficulties, temptations, ordinary disappointments; and, in response, every human attitude, every type of behavior, from the finest to the most wretched….There are grown-ups who will say no, that literature is not life, that novels teach you nothing. They are wrong. Literature informs, instructs, it prepares you for life.”
For me, it isn’t just about living to read; it’s about reading to live. As Cossé so eloquently described, books have shaped me and helped me build a life. They’ve never abandoned me. They’ve been my one and only constant companion in life and continue to inform and instruct as well as entertain me.
As any avid reader knows, there are certain books that elicit feelings that can’t be fully articulated. They help us understand life or ourselves in some new way. That is what I would like to explore in this blog. I’d like to remember and share with you some of the books that have entertained, moved and inspired me. My list of favorites includes great works of literature as well as fun beach reads. I’ve also found many non-fiction books to be educational, supportive and inspirational. So, any and all genres may find their way into these columns (with the likely exception of horror. The nightmares just aren’t’ worth it!).
There are so many wonderful books out there. Clearly no one could ever hope to read more than a small percentage of them. But there may be some books I discuss here that you want to check out. And you may have favorites of your own that you want to share with me.
I’m curious to see where this goes. I imagine I will reminisce, muse and meander my way through a wide variety of books, unearthing memoires and making connections that hadn’t occurred to me before. I think it will be a fun and interesting journey for me and I hope for you as well.
Will you join me?