Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Books, Beautiful Books

When  I left here four years ago after spending 3 months on a domesticate mission with Sr. Darlene, one of the places that I discovered to be a jewel in the Caruthersville crown was the public library.  I discovered it to have a wealth of literary and cultural activities waiting to be shared with the community.  I loved going to the library here. 
 Now that we are returned for good, I find that the library has become the heart of this town for me.  In the short 8 months I've been here, I have been to the library more times than in the 19 years we lived in Turlock, CA.  Yes, they had a nice library but it had really strange hours and the lure of its presence never clicked with me.  

Not so, the C'ville Library.  From plays to special grant information classes, the Christmas village and Sundays at the movies, genealogical research to renting fishing gear (is that really true???),  this small library has a big heartbeat.

Perusing the stacks, I discovered unread authors and I dove into, heretofore, unknown places.  The library also got me to thinking of the place of books in my life.  As I reflected on this question, I realized that as a family we had come full circle as a family of book lovers, something that I never thought would happen.  

All my adult life, I have never been without a book in my purse. The times it HAS happened, it felt as crippling and unnatural as taking my lipstick from my bag and forgetting to put it back.  The Pirate is a readDr. He has filled his library with countless books on Civil War history and political and societal issues. Our son, Quanah, has always been a bookhound (as my dad would say). To this day I'm amazed that he read "The Inferno" by Dante Alighieri when he was in high school.  It wasn't required reading, it just sounded interesting.  Now, in his late 30's, he's still reading the hard stuff, heavy on philosophy, Church history, and theology.

It was my daughter I truly despaired of when it came to fostering a love of books.  It seemed that no amount of reading to her as a child or encouraging her as a teen would get her to love reading as a recreation.  But later, with time, she did start picking up books.  She discovered Nicholas Sparks and for her 21st birthday, I gave her all the books he had written up to that point.  She read them all. She dove into an autobiography of Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Suddenly I had a reading daughter.

Both our children married readers. Quanah's Erin reads the heavy stuff too but they also read aloud to each other.  I remember one memorable night I called them and they were reading one of the Harry Potter books to each other (hmmm, or was it Lord of the Rings?)  Anyway, the habit continues to this day and I find it very old-fashioned and very, very, loving.  Krista's Adrian reads self-improvement books, inspirational success stories, and modern Catholic writers for living a righteous life and being a good man, a good husband, and a good father.

The thing that makes me the happiest though is our
grandson, Sebastian. Seb, at 3 and a half, LOVE books. He "reads" them daily.  Matteo seems to have picked up on reading as well but at 2, he's still too busy being a toddler.  And Karolina, at 4 months, will no doubt click with reading.  She is already showing signs of wanting to keep up with her brothers.

And now, birthdays and Christmases all seem to center around books and journals.  Book giving has become the number one choice for thoughtful gifting and it extends to our friends and other family loved ones, too.  Visiting libraries and bookstores constitutes a good date night for Don and I.  It's a satisfying feeling, at this late stage in life, that our children will never have to be stumped on what to get mom and dad for Christmas.  Books are the glue of our lives.  When things fall apart or we need to just escape, there is always a book to retreat to.

This week I have two books to mail off to Krista and Adrian. One is entitled "The Case for Jesus". The other, for Adrian, is entitled "Resucito Jesus Realmente de Entre los Muertos?"  At a time in their lives when disposable income is at a premium, I'm quietly happy that I can provide them with books as they continue to stir the pot and make the glue of their own lives.


Dedicated to The Pirate who 
keeps me supplied in journals.


7 comments:

  1. And for my two cents worth of input...I discovered that our Daughter had never ever read any of the Peter Rabbit books. For Christmas that year, I gifted her a set of them completed with beautiful illustrations. She was in her mid-twenties.

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  2. You really raised your kids right! I used to read a book a day for may years. Thinking back on it now, I don't know how I did it. And now our son is the same. Only he mostly uses Kindle. Your library sounds like a treasure trove!!

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    1. It is. We have books everywhere. Don is so organized. I, on the other hand . . . well, you understand.

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  3. FROM FRIEND, BIENE -

    Yes, Books, beautiful books. They are becoming a rarity in peoples’ purses, cars or bathrooms.

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  4. I am glad you are blogging again my friend!

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  5. I'm blessed to have children who all liked to read though we had one who had difficulty learning to read. It is always such a pleasure to see my grandchildren reading a book and not the phone. Thank you for this post! Have a grand week!

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  6. I always love to see children reading. I also always need something to read. Right now I'm into Irish books.

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