In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.
~ Mark Twain, whose birthday is today!
There are so many things, large and small, that I could give thanks for … I ran out of time, it seems! I will simply have to make these gratitude posts a more common practice. I am glad that many of you have told me you enjoy them!
So, I was thinking of making this last day a Grande Finale, like giving thanks for Magic, or the Goddess, or Mother Earth, or.. well, you get the picture.
But instead, I decided to keep it a little more intimate, although almost as big and universal.
Today, I give thanks for my first love, outside my family: Books.
In my office/magic room alone, I have six bookcases, all overflowing. There are nine more book cabinets throughout the house, from the built-in one in my “readings room,” to the stacks of collected family cookbooks in the kitchen, to the case John built for me, that runs the length of the wall in the guest bedroom. (I thought it would solve our overflow problem, but it is already double-stacked on some shelves with paperbacks!)
I know! I know! Maybe I should join book hoarders anonymous. Because that doesn’t even include the tables, baskets, and other spaces where our books take up residence.
I blame Ray Bradbury for my reluctance to relinquish my books. I read Fahrenheit 451 at a very young and impressionable age (ten or so, I think), and as a result, I find it painful to recycle the books I’ve really liked, lest the firemen someday come knocking on my door. The duds are not a problem, except that they are so few and far between.
In the clippings in my discovery journals (those collage and cut-out notebooks of dreams that I keep, thanks to my seventeen-year love affair with Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance), my eyes are always drawn to the rooms with books and flowers. In fact, a comfortable chair, a great book, and a bowl of fresh flowers is my idea of paradise.
I could go on and on. Like the naughty thrills I get at places like Bookshelf Porn:
And how, running out of horizontal space and money, the library is my BFF.
I am still trying to warm up to Kindle, but I am a very tactile person and I love the smell, feel, and sound of actual pages turning. When I try to read on my iPad, I find myself distracted by email and other apps. I have a feeling it will always only be a marriage of convenience, never impassioned true love.
So, thank you Mr. Gutenberg.
Thank you, Sumerians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and monks whose dedicated hands ensured that humanity’s magical stories survived through the ages.
Thank you Dr. Seuss, and A.A. Milne, and L. Frank Baum. Thank you Marvel and DC comics. Thank you to James Thurber, J.R.R. Tolkein, P.L. Travers, Kenneth Grahame, and the many women who wrote under the name, Carolyn Keene.
My undying gratitude to my grandmother who was a librarian and my mom who read me through good times and bad.
Kudos to Mrs. Haney’s first grade (right down the road in Fayetteville), where I officially learned to read, and to Miss Masick and Miss Matthews at Okinawa’s Sukaran Elementary, who made sure it stuck!
You all got me hooked for life. And I couldn’t be happier about it.