Books are one of our best friends. They persuade us to think differently. They take us to far away places where we will never go. Books are the friends who don’t judge us, but hang around to amuse us. They come in all shapes and sizes and are easily carried around.
Physically we embrace books, write in the margins, put check marks next to the things we want to hang onto, and refer back to them over and over again. Once we have learned to read and enjoy the written word, we are hooked to pick up anything written.
As a child, my family lived close to the library. Our home was just a 5 minute walk. My mother could watch us walk there and back. We had our own book bag to keep them in and we used it. I loved the free bookmarks that you could take from the counter when you checked out your book. They were always different because groups would donate them, community agencies donated them, and school children created them. Bookmarks are lovely accessories to keep us on task.
Like the bookmarks, books also seem to make us accountable. We are called to challenge ourselves through the biographies we read. Our intellect is challenged by the historical things we read and the mind is constantly called to a place where our imaginations can soar like a birds wings. There are no limits to what the written word can do to engage and confront us intellectually.
Most communities have a library and if they don’t, the schools have collections in more rooms for that level of reading. I wish I had taken even more time reading and comprehending books. I recall a 3 Great Aunts who were all school teachers. None of them married and they all lived in a Chicago home. Whenever I was with them they were encouraging me to read the magazines on the radiator seat at my Uncle Jack’s and Aunt Lu’s house. They had the Look and Life magazines plus lots of National Geographic. Many of the words I did not understand, but I’d read the captions under the wonderful and seemingly life size photos. I was in awe of the world that seemed beyond my scope of understanding.
Today we have everything digitally and so much seems to be lost. It was the flipping of the pages, the beautiful glossy images of movie stars in magazines, or the glacial ridges of the travel articles that intrigued me. I recall searching through stacks of old ones that we cut up for projects and researched. Things were tangible and more real. We were responsible for researching and looking for articles on topics for school. Maybe it is time to bring some of the printed forms of information back into life for this generation. Just a thought to spark you today.
Thanks for reading these blogs. Have a great day and “Delight in Living!”