I love books. I love the the physical feel of them. I love the places a good book can take me. I love looking at beautiful, well designed books that not only have interesting text but magnificent pictures that create a body of work that I can only experience when I am looking and reading them. When I walk into a bookstore I feel safe for some strange reason. I always learn even if it’s just flipping through and noticing something I haven’t seen before.
I am a visual person and very aware of design all around me. When I pick up a new, beautiful coffee table book I love to smell the paper to which the images have been printed. It’s an automatic reflex I have especially when I am in a museum bookstore. I’ve never been told I can’t do it and I know I am not the only one who has that peculiar habit. It makes me smile to myself just remembering being in a bookstore and seeing someone else enjoy the scent.
My mother had a six grade education yet always instilled in us the importance of reading. She had us memorize and use a new word every week to build our vocabulary. She knew she would never have the opportunity to have a formal education but she was determined that we did. Myself, two brothers and sister all have masters degrees. I guess it made us all feel it would enable us to survive. My sister and I are always exchanging articles from magazines or newspapers we think the other will find interesting. When we are together we always end up looking at the latest magazine or book we have just found and want to share.
I would be lying if I said I don’t get a lot of information from my computer but I will always have a stack of books by my bed. I will always have a large array of books spread throughout my house. I may not have read them cover to cover but I frequently used them for research and inspiration. I know it is more convenient to carry an Ipad or computer but I don’t get the same enjoyment that I do physically holding a book.
I love reading The Sunday New York Times. I try to read it cover to cover but it is difficult to get through when I have a busy week. Sometimes I will take an entire week or two to read it all. I don’t seem to really care that it’s old. I have my ritual where I start with the front page, flip through the world news and end that section with the obituaries. I love the obituaries. I have learned so much about what makes people tick by reading their mini biographies. Can’t say my life would be that much different if I didn’t know but I’d like to think it is richer. Then I move on to the Style section which has one of my most favorite sections. It’s called Modern Love which every week is someone’s slice of life of what makes their life special. The title may give the wrong impression that it’s about their love life. Sometimes it is but most of the time it’s about how an event changed them and made them more human. It often makes me think about my life in a different way. Ways that hopefully open my eyes to experiences I may have missed. Tender moments that go by so quickly.
But I think more than anything, with everything now so fast and furious in the tech world, taking the time to settle in with a good book in it’s pure, physical form helps me to take a moment. To escape to a new adventure without having to leave my home. To hold in my hands the actual book. Some habits never die. Learned that from a book.