Thursday, March 12, 2009

I am feeling very introspective today.
It’s that kind of feeling where I wish I was sitting on the floor of my office,
with all my favorite books on the floor surrounding me –
Pages turned to rabbit-eared, well-worn passages,
Underlined in pencil and pen and tears at times…
While I soak in all the words, the sentences that I have long forgot I loved.
tozer, l’engle, piper, plath, eliot, cather…
I could go on and on…listing names that conjur memories of where I was when I read the,
when it was that they hooked me -
caught me like a hook in the mouth of a fish
and hasn’t let me go since…

I love books –
Love might even be an understatement.
I love the smell, the feel the fonts…

This week, my husband told me that the iphone has a free kindle app – all you have to do is buy the books -
My response was blunt. Why would I ever want to give up books, the library, borders, ½ price books for a gadget.
And although I know people that will no doubt love the kindle, that is just not me.
I’m an old-school kind of girl that loves nothing more than to pack 8 books for a two-hour car trip.

I’m a “mood-reader” – meaning I read based on what kind of mood I’m in.
At any given time I’m reading one novel, and then a myriad of other books all at once…
Spiritual, reference, writing, poetry…
And I’ve been in the process of trying to read through the bible start to finish for months now…
I’m in psalms now…(is that halfway?)

When I was living in Africa my friend kate gave me one of the best gifts I’ve ever received…
I was there for what was thought to be a year, turned into only seven months but still.
I packed a ton of stuff; brought Rubbermaid tubs of stuff – and included in them, lining the bottom of each – to spread the weight - were as many books as I could fit – but it still wasn’t enough…
So what she did was amazing…
Every month or two, she would go to ½ price books and fill a small cardboard box with about a dozen $1 novels from the sale section of the bookstore.
And she would ship it to me…
And I would read them, back to back and hope they lasted until the next box came.
That was a hard year, and I’d like to think that apart from God, those books got me through the silence, and the lonliness and the isolation.
They transported me to other worlds, and kept my mind off of myself for hours a day.

The family I lived with had tons of books, which I read as well,
But they said something during the beginning of my time there, maybe before, that I will never forget.
something that seemed so sad to me - sad and close-minded.
They said, life is too short to read novels…
And so their library was filled with good books, great books actually – by men of faith, and Christian books aplenty, but nothing resembling a story…except the bible of course.
they were missing out, and apart from not understanding my love of novels, they were uninterested -

So kate stepped in – my fellow lover of the story- and came to my rescue.
And I will be forever grateful.

When my time in Uganda came to a close I had two choices. I could leave all these novels behind, to a family I knew would never read them, or I could pack them up, one-by-one and ship them across the seas back to my bookshelves, where I would squeeze them in and welcome them like long-lost children (ok, maybe that’s a bit extreme…but you know…)

So I packed them up. and brought them home, where I continued my love of books
of words strung together in ways that I could only dream of.
And I do dream…
Oneday, oneday.


Marisa said...

i had the same conversation recently re: kindle. it's great if you just like to read, but certainly not for someone who actually appreciates the book itself. the feel of the pages, the different fonts, the cover art... there's a tangible quality, an EXPERIENCE of sorts, that kindle lacks. (but honestly, isn't that sort of the way all of society is now anyway? less texture + depth, more convenience. it makes me sad!)

Kate said...

A good book, read while curled up under blankets is still one of my favorite ways to spend a day. Especially if it's a book a friend recommended...we can share it that experience together.

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