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Reflecting, on World Book Day…

So today is World Book Day. 

What does that even mean?

It is a day to celebrate authors, readers, books, literacy, and all of that. It is also meant to bring awareness of people struggling with illiteracy in the world. A lot of charities do readathons and donate so much for so many hours read. 

For me though, it is a bit more personal; almost like an old friends birthday celebration. But books have given me more than I could ever give them.

So, let’s reminisce…

I don’t remember not being able to read. For the longest time I thought that was all I was good at; still kind of do :{ some of the most exciting times in my childhood were the evenings that my mom took us (my sisters and I) to the library. Even the drive there was fun. We had to take a hilly road on the way there, and we called it tickle-belly road; even long after we found it funny.

My mother never censored our reading so we were pretty much left up to our own devices when deciding what we wanted. I would read the same books over and over again. I loved books in which the characters were talking animals. The Cricket in Times Square, Mrs.Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, and Homeward Bound. Eventually I graduated to Watership Down, which is still a favorite today. The characters in those books got me through my adolescence. Even if I was the new kid at school, I knew I had friends I could always rely upon in books.

My pre-teen years were filled with Sweet Valley Twins, Sweet Valley High, The Babysitters Club, and The Girl Talk Series. They allowed me to know what it would feel like to belong, to be pretty, to be – anything but what I was. They allowed me to imagine things I wanted to accomplish and gave me a safe place to dream.

I’m pretty sure I stopped reading in my teens out of sheer rebelliousness. Never mind reading for pleasure, I hated having to read the books that were assigned to us in school (when I was even in school, but that’s another post altogether). But I never was put off reading entirely. I knew it was something I could always go back to.

Between the ages of 17 and 18 I went through a difficult time; and as they had always been, books were there, to comfort, to provide escape, to put me to bed at night. 

Fast forward twenty(ish) years later, and this evening I am sitting in my office with shelves of books writing this post and not knowing where I would be today if I weren’t a reader. 

Books are my most constant friend, as Charles William Eliot said so eloquently,  they are always where I leave them, I can always pick up right where I left off; They have offered up hope, happiness, empathy, fun, adventure, and sometimes anger or sadness. They have allowed me to know that all human beings go through the same experience called life, and that it is only the superficial that makes it seem other wise. I have been able to laugh, cry, be amazed, and astounded, and every other emotion one could think of, just because of words on paper that have been glued together in an estheticaly pleasing way. 

I have always been content in my own company so long as I have something to read, and have thus been able to be picky in my relationships with others. 

I could go on and on… 

But I wont. 

This is my love letter to books. 

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