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People who love books and bookshelves are my tribe

I recently saw one of my nieces pose the question to her FB community: I need a good book. What are some of your favorites?

My mind started whirring and clicking and bringing up round after round of my favorites. I could see the titles stacked neatly on my large bookshelf and rattled off a few that are near and dear to me for her to think about.

I painted my bookshelf a deep teal last winter, and I sometimes sit back and take in the pleasure of the books it holds. This color of teal, I realized, has a recurring theme throughout my life. It must be the deep, exotic shade that has me in its thrall.

Looking back, I see that I had several pairs of earrings this color, bought on trips with the family out west, a big poof of a prom dress back in ’87 and a living room that brought me many relaxing hours of sitting. Our lives go through cyclical phases of color, but teal has remained.

What I love in books has changed throughout the years. I learned to read at a very young age, devouring the entire “Little House” series by second grade, graduating to all things “Hardy Boys” and “Nancy Drew,” then on to all the John Benton books, followed by books for adults.

I was ravenous for them, and the more dense and thick they were, the better. With a baby on my hip I sunk into Jean Auel and her ancient worlds, reading as fast as I could get my hands on each book. I was never not reading.

I still read mostly fiction, chunky volumes of words pressed together for me to descend into. For readers we know that the worlds contained inside expand us as we add them to places we’ve visited. I’ve learned that each person has a certain amount of words in their vocabulary, ones you cull and use from stored spaces in your brain. The more well-read you are, the more words you have.

Sometimes when I’m talking in normal conversation, a far-flung word rolls off my tongue, and whoever I’m talking to looks at me in puzzlement. I never apologize because reading was, and is, something I love. It’s kind of like practicing a sport for hours and hours and becoming an expert in your field.

I have a Pinterest board that’s filled with beautiful bookshelves. Uneven, tall, wide and skinny, I love every incarnation of them and those who build them. People who take the time to select pieces of wood, nail them together in a pleasing fashion and place them carefully for someone who loves books, these are my tribe of people. Some book hoarders love a mishmash of books toppling over each other, and some like clean and concise, rigid rows of books matched alphabetically or by genre. I’m in the latter category.

I’m hoping that my niece found some books that looked good to her. I feel that there’s nothing better than curling up on the couch with a new world in your hands. The cares of the hour melt away when you let your mind slip inside the pages, softly seeing the words as they connect in your mind.

We should all read more, whether it’s books, magazines or even a newspaper. Find good, powerful words to read and absorb, and your world will be enriched. You might even add a few new words to your vocabulary.

Published: January 30, 2017
New Article ID: 2017701309981