“Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.” -Unknown
Those who know me know unequivocally that I love everything about books – the weight of the hard cover; the under-the-covers ease of the paperback; the travelling goosebumps that pop up all over as I enthusiastically inhale the smell of the paper and ink; even the bookworm notations in the back of the book referencing the type of fonts used throw me into a reverie. And that’s before the novel even begins!
Like kindred spirits, book lovers recognize other book lovers. Case in point: my book buddy that I work (volunteer) with at the local library (I think of this ‘work’ as the best job I’ve ever had – I would actually pay to work there – oh wait- I do…more on that shortly). Anyways… my buddy had a coupla of serious eye surgeries and was away for several weeks. Upon her return, several library folks came over to inquire about her health, one burning question poking its head quickly to the forefront of the discussion. “But you can still read can’t ya?” In the inner sanctum of book lovers, this is the sincerest term of caring and endearment there is.
“Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?” -Henry Ward Belcher
When we moved north a few years ago, one of my (very) first tasks was to get a library card. The local library informed me that I lived out of the area and would have to pay $150 for a library card, which fazed me not one iota. Or, the lovely lady at the circ desk told me, you could volunteer. Volunteer at the library, constantly surrounded by the loves of my life? There was no head scratching needed for that decision.
My job as a volunteer is to sell as many ‘gently read’ books as I can, every Friday, with all proceeds going to the purchase of new library titles. Essentially I’m selling books to borrow more books if you see what I mean. There is only one teeny problem with this ‘giving to give’ strategy – I’m buying to buy..and buy..and buy. I mean seriously, those of you who breathe books – where else can you buy an almost new hardcover for a toonie – no tax – and a free plastic bag (which for $10 bucks you can completely fill! Believe me on this one!)
Whenever sales are sagging, all eyes turn to ‘moi’- take one for the team they say- and indeed that’s all it takes – my bag(s) runneth over and my husband’s eyes runneth skywards.
Speaking of husbands, Jorge Luis Borges’ observation – “I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books.” is not the most popular of quotes in our house. In fact it might be a tad over the top as the thump thump thump of my assorted tomes fly through the air with the greatest of ease from his side of the bed to oblivion. Every. Night.
No bedtime stories there!
For those of you who are not book lovers, I leave you with this thought:
“What you don’t know would make a great book.” – Sydney Smith
Stay tuned for the sequel…