Posts Tagged With: bookshelves

thanks, Roald Dahl

matilda

Like Matilda, I am not alone. For I have books-a-plenty.
Thanks, Roald Dahl for this hopeful and comforting message.

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food for the soul

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis once said: There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.

I believe this with an unparalleled fierceness.
I tell all parents of young children this is my philosophy of child rearing: First you feed a child with food, then with books, then you worry about whether or not their shoes fit.
If you could see the looks on their faces. They have that initial moment of WTF? but then I see their eyes widen as they begin to understand how this makes some kind of sense.

I believe this principle applies to grownups too.
You ever been to someone’s home and find no books and feel like there is something so completely wrong with that? I don’t trust a person who doesn’t read.
I love to explore what other people have on their shelves.
We all know that someone who has books on the shelf for show, you know damn well that person doesn’t read them, they’re there lined up like little soldiers just to impress.
If you looked at my bookshelves, the majority of the books are either children’s books or biographies. Of course there are other things mixed in, adult fiction and textbooks, even some pretty amazing nonfiction too.

We must eat food to sustain our physical lives.
But books are food too. Soul food.
They feed our imagination. They feed us inspiration. They feed us information. They feed us laughter and love and tears. They feed us fear and loathing. They feed us when food isn’t what we need to ingest.

When Thing 2 was a small girl, we were waiting at the doctors office. I was reading and she was reading. She had just begun to read “proper” books, and was reading her first chapter book. It was the first time I didn’t read to her as we waited somewhere. It was the first time I read my book and she read hers. When the realization washed over me I began to cry.
After a big breath, I said to her: You’ve given yourself the best gift you’ll ever receive.
She looked at me from behind her coke-bottle glasses with confusion. I indicated the book.
She said: You gave me this book.
I said: Yes I did, but you learned to read it. And from now on you’ll be able to read anything you want. What a wonderful gift you gave to yourself!
She thought about this for a moment and then gave that jack-o-lantern smile (She was missing three teeth at the time.) and said: You’re right!

Both Thing 1 and Thing 2 love books. And shoes. They’ve been influenced by my parenting philosophy quite literally. (There’s a trees and two apples and never are they terribly far apart.)
I know that they will pass on their love of books to their children, and their nieces and nephews, and one day, their children’s children.

This quote has been attributed to Stephen King: Books are uniquely portable magic.
And they feed the soul.

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settling in

Well, I’ve been at home with YBW for nine days…in the first two days I landed a cold, he so kindly shared his germs with not only me, but his own two Things. My Thing 2 was miraculously untouched by these icky germs. (If you knew her and her immune system this would be ubershocking.) 

The fact we were all sick kind of put a damper on the fun we had planned before his two Things went back to their mom’s, and also cut into our special YBW, Robynbird, and Thing 2 time.
So the last nine days have been less productive (oh how this frustrates me) than hoped, also less “normal”. But we’re all finally beginning to feel human again…except Thing 2 finally succumbed to the icky germs yesterday. (DAMMIT!)

I finally began to open boxes of books and began to breathe. What is it that makes me feel so strongly about those books? I have no idea, but I can tell you how happy I was to unpack, stack and shelve them! Thing 2, with her uncanny timing, wandered in just in time to read about her boyfriend’s birthday in the Birthday book and their compatibility in the Relationship book.

a few stacks waiting to be shelved

a few stacks waiting to be shelved

a few yet to be unpacked

a few boxes yet to be unpacked

Thing 2 is "helping"

Thing 2 is “helping”

The bookshelf is no longer naked and my books can breathe again…
Recovering diningroom chairs and unpacking kitchen items are up next. The kitchen will be a curious event…

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Goodbye. ~ Hello!

hello goodbye

Less than two weeks and I’ll live with YBW!

Thing 2 and I are making plans for the two weeks she’ll spend with us…what to pack for her room there, what we want to do, who we want to see…she wants to see her Aunt Sundance and cousins the mostest. (Me too!!) She wants to go to IKEA with YBW so they can eat in the restaurant and piddle around the store then have ice cream as they leave. (They both love IKEA like crazy.) She wants to have lots of snuggles. (My favorite!!)
I want to kiss YBW, see Sundance, and unpack my books. After that, it’s gravy.

I’m sad to leave my friends here, I’m sad to leave my doctor and our patients…I’m sad I won’t be close to Thing 1 and Thing 2’s daddy anymore.
Moving is hard…moving on is hard too.

Excitement is big though! Not only will I be with my darling YBW, I’ll be “going back to my roots” teaching at a wonderful, emergent curriculum-based preschool only 4 miles from home! Oh how I’m ready to be in a room full of toddlers!

Life will sort itself as I move through the process of saying goodbye to one life and hello to another…I’m going into this adventure with eyes, heart, and arms wide open.
Wish me luck!

Categories: love, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

sixteen books in five minutes

With my books packed in boxes I realized the only book I have to read at the moment is the narcolepsy-inducing economics textbook…while I’m required to read that this school term, it isn’t the sort of thing I want to read before bed or take into the tubby. I was longing for something to change my point of view for even just a moment, something I could become a part of for a while…leave this reality and tag along in some other one just long enough to give my brain a rest.
So I tried to do that from memory, I’ve been participating in certain book realities for many years. It wasn’t the same though. Books are a tactile experience for me…I enjoy experiencing books with every one of my senses…yep, even taste, gotta lick my finger to turn a page every once in a while.

A curious thing happened, the failed book from memory experiment caused me to think of books I especially love, and why I love them.
So, I decided to list the first books that came to me, the ones that have had the most impact or influence on my life, the ones I loved as a child and continue to love as a grown up.
I gave myself five minutes to list what came to me and this is what I wrote:

Outside Over There
The Secret of the Strawbridge Place
The Secret Garden
The Bell Jar
The Great Gatsby
Sense and Sensibility
Dancing on My Grave
The Outsiders
Plantation Doll
The Mists of Avalon
Sam, Bangs and Moonshine
The End of the Affair
Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human
Peter Pan
Long Walk to Freedom
The Tangled Wing

I listed each one as it appeared in my brain. I did not over-think nor did I edit the list in any way.
Now there are certainly other books I love, books that mean so much to me but just aren’t listed here.
Why?
I don’t know. And for once, I don’t really have the desire to figure it out.

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