Sunday, March 16, 2008

I Read A LOT!!

I read a lot. In fact, I have a lot of books.

It's amazing to me, how people read a book and then get rid of it. Huh? I don't get it. You're not going to go back and revisit old friends, old stories? You're not going to reread to delve for deeper nuances?

My books are my friends. They tell me things I never thought of, never dreamed of. They open a world that's out there, but I'll never be able to visit. Sometimes the door they open is to the imagination. I dream the author's dream. There is more out there than I can imagine by myself...

Yes, the Internet is great, I use it all the time. But the Internet doesn't open to the page where I left off. It doesn't smell like a new book smells, I can't feel the pages turn under my hands.

It's not the same. I love the Internet (in fact, that's the only reason I keep a house phone, so I can hook up to the Net), but it's just not the same as a book.

And old books. Mmmm, faintly musty smelling at times, I open the book and there's information that just isn't available out there any more. There are fascinating differences between my 1934 Encyclopedias and the modern versions. It's not just informational, there are vast cultural differences that can be mined from old books.

I understand my own family history a little better when I read history or fiction of the era they grew up in. I understand the context of their world and can draw comparisons to the world I live in today. I can see the difference and, sometimes unfortunately, the parallels in the train of thought that people had and still have today.

My books are my friends.

Not the same as my human and animal friends, of course, but still my friends. My refuge when life is just getting too stressful. I can retreat, revisit Pern, or Hobbiton, or Rivendell, or Narnia, or the Little House in the Big Woods. I can relax into a space opera or a murder mystery. Or I can choose to learn about great women, or the San Francisco earthquake, or World War I (yes, I have the 1919 set about the Great War), or urban survival, or black holes, or space-time continuums. It's all there on the bookshelves, waiting for me to come home and open the book.

Books are a comforting constant in my life.

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