This post is dedicated to my husband, Rich, who has happily allowed me to fill our house with books.
Book love. My earliest memories involve books. First, my mother and father read to me. Then, when I could read by myself, I began with Laura's Little House books. They will always hold a very special place in my heart because I started my reading adventures with them. All through my growing up years, I was reading books, most of which came from the library. However, I also had my own personal collection of beloved books; every single LM Montgomery book I could get my hands on, for instance. I kept my favorite books in a row on the headboard of my bed, which had a shelf on top. I was very protective of my books and remember being horrified when a friend returned one of them to me with the binding bent all the way through and the cover aged almost beyond recognition. I am still sad about my copy of Anne's House of Dreams, because I myself dropped it in a bowl of chicken noodle soup. I taped the corners of my new books as soon as I bought them, to try to keep them from getting dog-eared and ripped. I carefully wrote my name and date inside each cover and read these books over and over again.
There was a period of time in my twenties when I didn't read very much at all. Let me clarify. I did read, and I read every day, but the books I read were now written by authors like Dr. Seuss, Beatrix Potter, & Mercer Mayer, and were about 20 pages long, tops. I read these books out loud with small children in my lap.
Ah yes, I was very busy with life and having/raising babies, that I simply had no time to read much.
When life became more manageable, (and I am now in my thirties), I slowly came back to my books and discovered I still had an insatiable appetite for reading. I realized anew that this was part of what made life good, in my opinion. A big, delicious book and time to read it.
In the winter, my favorite time to read is at the end of the day, in my bed. I also read quite a bit in the car when Rich is driving, or during Seth & Sarah's nap time.
In the summer, I like to read outside in the sunshine while wearing sunglasses, as the children play.
This Saturday, Rich and I took Jacob and Ethan to their friend's house, and because they live very near my favorite antique store, I asked him if we could visit it.
I had no strong desires to purchase anything, I just love to browse a good antique place (and this one is big and full of neat things to see). What I was truly keeping my eyes open for was an old wire egg basket for my kitchen.
But, while looking for kitchen things,
I found a booth that apparently belonged to kindred spirits of the bookish sort!
Although not techinally antiques, I found several Tasha Tudor books, my friends. Be still my heart, vintage (1970's) editions, with hard covers.
This Tasha illustrated copy of The Wind in the Willows was 25 dollars and out of my price-range.
However, I held it, looked into it, and swooned.
"O terrible bad, sir, terrible deep the snow is."
This is what I took home on an afternoon in which I had no intention to buy (of all things) books, but the book fairy led me to them and placed them into my life!
The maroon one is an old and quaint animal-stories book. The whole stack belongs to me, but is to read out loud to the family.
You see, I still have small children to sit in my lap, and I do still love a good 20 pager now and then.
Snowflake Bentley is a newish book, a true story about a man who was obsessed with photographing snowflakes and kept trying until he succeeded. Made me cry.
In the same booth, I found SNAKE BOOKS! Remember, my seven year old, Caleb, wants to know and see anything about snakes. We purchased him this one:
Snakes from the World, with illustrations from life, 1944
The text will be challenging for him, but the photos are great and he loves the book. He took it to school this morning.
I am currently in the midst of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. I purchased this one online and it came in the mail on Saturday (the book fairy was good to me that day) What a substantial, wonderfully-written novel it is. I read it a long time ago and thought it was high time to read it again. This one is translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, and in my opinion is much more readable than the last translation I used. There is a lot to be said for old classic literature compared to some of the lighter fiction. It's like comparing a steak to a cookie. My goal for this year is to eat more steak and less cookies.
(The old snapshots are something else I picked up from the antique store. I plan on putting them into a journal.)
“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” Jane Austen
If you enjoyed this post, please feel at liberty to send me a Barnes and Noble gift certificate.