I don’t know where to begin so I’ll start from my young years. I learned to read around the age of four or five. I write about my own personal feelings because it is far easier. My well of memories is full. My mother used to read stories to me and my brother and that was fine. We enjoyed it.
At a young age my teachers told me I had dyslexia. I was also put into a remedial reading group. This was very traumatic for me. I have a suspicion of why I had challenges yet that is not the focus of this article. Book is the focus and I am going to explain my experience with and love of it.
My father was always reading books. He read on a wide array of subjects like crime, history, biographies, etc.. His brain was like a library. I inherited his love of cop shows and investigation. That has never gone away. My mother was more of a recreational reader. Her book of choice was filled with poetry of Edgar Allen Poe, cookbooks, encyclopedias, and short stories from Readers Digest. Both of my parents influenced me as well as my younger brother Bill.
Because a book was not something I valued in my young years. I more so had a fear towards reading. My young, inner child was getting ready to find herself when her brother, an avid reader, prodded her to read a book called, Pet Cemetery by Stephen King. Up until that point, I had a paralyzing terror of reading because of my previous negative and traumatic experiences.
I think I was about sixteen years old when I read my first book for leisure. Up until that point the only only real books or magazines I read were for homework projects. To say the least I couldn’t put, “Pet Cemetery” down and it scared the bejesus out of me. After that I was reading nonstop and what a beautiful gift he gave me.
In a literal sense my time making books was tremendous fun. I made several books while in elementary school. My first book was making a handmade book about the state of Wisconsin per the instruction of my teacher Mrs. Stout. Mrs. Stout was a beautiful influence in my life. I’ll never forget her. Making that book by hand was a generous and loving experience for me. I also made a beautiful bound book for my mother on Mother’s Day. I made the cover and pages and material. It was sewn with love.
The books I read in my early twenties were quite different than the ones I read now. I went through many phases back then. I really liked mystery novels. I remember when I was in the Army on Charge of Quarters duty and finished reading a book in one overnight. I was into novels back then.
A book truly was part of my person at all times. My heart used to go pit-a-pat when I walked into a bookstore. In a sense I was an Introverted Bookstore worm although I had a lot of extrovert in me. Oh, how I loved the smell of the bookstore, yes!! I usually had a cup of coffee in tow. I remember when one of our bookstores closed how sad I was. It was the Schwartz Bookstore. Back in the day I used to take the bus which I loathed and liked at the same time. I once left a book on the bus. I was so devastated. It was, “Roots.”
Honestly, I never was without a book. All of the jobs I worked at in the temp. services I had a book with me that I read at break time or while on the bus ride home.
When I lived in New York City, I worked at temp. services in administrative jobs and they were sparse. So what I did to satisfy my need for books was to go to the local bookstore sit on the floor and read books. I miss those days sometimes. There was tremendous hope.
Truthfully, books have been better to me than people. I went through challenging times and books made me feel better. As I got older I got more into Spiritual and self-help books. I’m glad I read those books they truly helped me improve myself and my life. I had so many experiences when people let me down and books never did.
One thing I love about a good book, is that you can buy a book and learn how to do something new. That is cool. You can also escape into a book when you want to get away from sad or stressful events. I like escape occasionally yet I would rather learn something. Escaping has its place.
An enticing book has a good smell. I used to visit the second hand bookstores, one of my favorite places to go. The smell of old books was truly a comfort. How can you not love the smell of an old paper bound in book covers? YES! I’ll take it any day. Any time I see someone reading a paper book I get happy. I remember every school year at the end of a semester our teacher would make us go through our textbooks and erase pencil marks. That was true respect of books.
I get upset at the exploitation of my books. This, to me, is a travesty.
When I went to college, all the students were mandated to buy certain books. From semester to semester the books would change. So then students were forced to pay inflated prices every semester and not be able to resell books to other students. Not that this wasn’t enough but you may have paid one hundred or more dollars for a book but it was a different edition. So, students attending the same class you were went to the previous semester cannot use a different edition of the same book. Oftentimes, the professions that were teaching the classes also prescribed the books required. I apologize, I want my professors to succeed, especially since many of them get paid peanuts, yet this is exploitation of books. There are numerous individuals exploiting the virtue of books which is not cool further this is an exploitation of tax paper money (from student loans) and students. There goes the unravelling of the American Dream lie.
I digress, I love books and take them in any form. Nowadays, you can listen to audiobooks on YouTube thank the gods!! In conclusion, I will say books have definitely been a life force for me. I am so grateful for books and being personally influenced by my parents, brother, teachers, self help gurus, teachers of the Secret, Hermeticism, etc. As far as I am concerned every time I open a book I am transported to a new world and that is such great fun.