Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Read Any Good Books Lately?

I honestly cannot imagine a world without books. I definitely can't imagine my home without books - and thankfully my husband is of a similar mind, because when I moved in with him, I brought my 300+ books and added them to his collection of 300+ books and in the 5 years we've been together, we've probably added close to another 200 books if not more! Granted, we haven't read all of them yet, but we're working on it =)

Why do we personally love to read? Because reading transforms our minds, broadens our experiences, teaches us about places and people and history and science; it allows us to escape the humdrum to worlds of wonder and magic and... well, the possibilities are endless.

One of my favorite quotes about reading is by Edmund Wilson - “No two persons ever read the same book.” Think about it. Have you ever read a book that was recommended as excellent by a friend and just couldn't understand why they liked it? Or read a review of a book that you had read, only to not be able to remember that "great part" that the reviewer insisted was the crux of the book? Better yet, have you ever re-read a book years later and it was completely different the second time around? Why? Because everything that has ever been written is subject to interpretation by the reader. As our lives change and our experiences change the way we think, how we perceive things also changes...and I don't think it's possible to read a book and interpret everything in it exactly the same way that someone else did or even the way we did the first time we read it. General ideas and themes, yes... the thoughts and emotions that the words evoke, no...

Most people enjoy one or a few genres of books, whether it's romance novels, or sci-fi, or historical non-fiction. I always wonder exactly when in our lives we start liking certain types of books - is it because of the books that our parents read to us when we were little? Or the stories our grandparents told us? Or is it just an innate curiosity about certain subjects that we would have no matter what?

I am thrilled when my grandchildren come over to visit and head right to their "bookshelf". I have one bottom shelf of books that they know they can touch and look at and pretend to read (they're all 4 and under!)... and yes, they already have their favorites - although they all seem to love the pop-up animal books! We actually have some books from our childhood, and every once in a while, one of the grandkids will pull out a book that their mom or dad remembers from when they were little. I can hardly wait until the next generation of conversations begins over what was read in this book or that. Maybe that's the real reason I love to read. It sparks sharing - thoughts, opinions, ideas, emotions - and it brings me closer to the people I share with.

On this World Book and Copyright Day, pick up a book. Read a story to someone who can't read it for themselves. Better yet, teach someone to read. Share a blog. Listen to an audio book. Take your mind to somewhere it's never been before. Be open to new ideas. Say a silent thank you to all the authors and illustrators who are responsible for sharing their talents with you. Enjoy!

Thank you to the following Etsy shops for their gracious permission to use their photos in this article! (You can access their shops by clicking on the shop name, or the individual items by clicking on the photos.)
SupplyFascination - Set of 4 Vintage Children's Novels
Moms Antiques & Things - Vintage Book Contract Bridge Self Teacher 1948 Booklet
exceptionalclutter - 366 STORIES FOR BEDTIME - 1984 EDITION
4th Avenue - Those Hardy Boys
ArtandBookShop - Walt Disney's Big Golden Book Mary Poppins 1964
NeedlefulThings - 1977 1st Edition The Hobbit An Illustrated Edition


Stacey said...

Books are delightful in every way! Great collection of Etsy sellers, too. I remember having something similar to the 366 Bedtime Stories when I was little, a book I went back to again and again.

Moms Antiques and Things said...

Thank you for including my book it's an honor to be on your blog!! You have a great shop and blog page. I love books especially, the old stuff!!!

Janine (MomsantiquesNthings)

Robert said...

Good post! I've loved reading since I was very little. It is so true about different people and their perception of what is good. Since I've started editing my first book it's funny how I see books differently now. Have to try and shut off critique mode and enjoy the book I'm reading.

Joyce said...

I love reading! Been too busy to do it lately, but I have just started up again :)

JewelryWorksbyKim said...

I love reading.My husband does too. Hey I have a copy of that exact Hobbit book! I read it when I was 10.

Cherry Tart Design said...

I love books! Recently we have discovered that our library sells paperbacks and hard cover books that they either have too many copies of or that are no longer quite as popular. Paperbacks are only a quarter and hardcovers are only fifty cents! I've gotten some great finds lately.

I have to say that I'm one of the horror/mystery fanatics, I've never been a huge fan of romance. I guess that's part of what makes us all unique.

Rose Ridge Creations said...

When I met my husband he also had a huge book collection and still reads everything he can get his hands on. My daughter just gave us a Kindle for Christmas and it may keep our little house from exploding at the seams! He can download a book in seconds and always have plenty of books on hand for both of us, no matter our literary mood...and we have many!

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