Today, I am thankful for books…lots and lots and lots of books.
I was a ferocious reader as a child. I loved going to the library, where I could check out as many books as my bag could hold. I loved the smell of a brand new book from the bookstore too. My Mom would gift me with a new book in my Valentine’s gift bag or in Easter baskets or in my Christmas stockings.
I would sit for hours and hours memorizing the pictures and absorbing each and every word. I read on my bed. I read on the couch. I read in the car. I read on trips, in doctor’s offices, and sitting on back patios. I read everywhere.
Books have caused me to blurt out a laugh as well as cry rivers of tears. Books have educated me when I felt too dumb to learn or when no teacher could explain it well enough. Books have carried me through sad times, broke times, and lonely times. Books have given me happiness, smiles and encouragement. I have met characters in books that I wish were my best friends and I have also met characters I wish I could run over with my car.
“A book is a gift you can open again and again.”
My list of books already read is too numerous. I wish I had kept track of them all as I grew and aged. I think even I would be impressed with the number. I have some books I didn’t care for on that list, though those are few and far between. I have many, many favorites.
My list of books to-be-read are even longer. There are so many books I wish I had time to read, so many in both fiction and non-fiction that I have to talk myself out of buying each time I enter a bookstore. I love Barnes & Noble, Half-Price Books, and every book aisle in every store from Costco to Albertson’s to Target. I cannot ever walk into a store without at least roaming the aisles of books to see if anything catches my eye. The sheer amount of money I have spent on books is scary, and probably could have helped me purchase a car or my first house.
Whenever someone asked on an application, a personality form, or for Secret Santa list what my hobbies were, I always started with reading, and quite frankly that has never changed. It is the one part of who I am that has only grown better with age. It’s not a habit that I’ve broken or given up. I just can’t.
My all time favorite book is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott; I wanted so badly to be a March sister. I loved the way the seasons were described and the way that family was important. I loved Jo’s independence, and often felt I identified with that character more than anyone else…except maybe Alice from Alice in Wonderland, which is my second favorite book of all time.
I appreciated C.S. Lewis. Narnia is brilliant. I prized Caroline Keene. I thought Nancy Drew was beyond brave and so smart. Louise Fitzhugh inspired my initial career path. I wrote in spirals just like Harriet the Spy. I have laughed with Janet Evanovich’s main character Stephanie Plum in each novel. Every single one. I aspired to write like Dee Henderson. The O’Malley Series she wrote made me laugh and cry, and is in the Top 5 list of books I can read over and over again.
I’m so grateful for books; the authors who write books, the characters I’ve met through books, and the stories I’ve read in books.
Yep, I am giving thanks for books. Aren’t you?