My parents were/are readers. I have some wonderful memories of my parents readings bits and pieces of books to each other and to us. They found this one author really hilarious. So one of them would read the book first and then read funny bits to us out loud. Then the other would read the same books and read different funny bits out loud. After my parents separated, and I lived (as an adult) with my mother. She’d continue to read bits of books and the paper out loud to me. I thought it was normal.
When I moved away from the Washington D.C. area, I discovered that one of the things I really missed was the Washington Post. Then when I had the opportunity to subscribe on my e-book reader, I discovered what I really missed was my mother reading it out loud to me. I read out loud to other people. In one relationship that didn’t work out, he really didn’t get what I was doing. He didn’t think it was fun, cool, or endearing. Lucky for me, Mike finds it endearing; maybe he pretends but he pretends! I think we’d still get along if he didn’t but you know some things are a real litmus test…
When she retired at age 55, my mother got to read all the time, something years of teaching didn’t allow. She’d go to the library and get shelves of books. To prevent taking out the same book, she started a notebooks of things she had read. Organized (of course!) by author’s last name, she kept track of authors and titles. Somewhere along the way, my brother and sister put the book into a word processing program, and then printed it off. The notebook which we all call The BOOK, is in a binder with alphabetical tabs. She’s eighty now and the book is substantial and hefty. A lot of the times, my youngest brother goes to the library for her. He takes The BOOK with him and consults it. The librarians know him and The BOOK. My niece was visiting and she took The BOOK to the library but she got things my mother had already read. She said to me, “I don’t use The BOOK right.” “Ah grasshopper,” I said, “It takes years to get wise in the way of The BOOK.”
My mother reads mostly mysteries and several years ago I started reading them again so we’d have some things to talk about and read out loud to each other. Now I consult The BOOK for ideas what to read next. We have different tastes, but I can rely on her for some pretty cogent and succinct assessments.
I have a BOOK of sorts of my own. I use the online community of Good Reads. It’s a cool place similar to this blog where you can write about what you read, and then read what others write about books. It’s very cool. I think it combines two things I love: writing and reading. You can find me at www.goodreads.com/gailwood if you are interested in reading what I write about what I read. Perhaps in 25 years, it will be The BOOK for me.
So in these week of love remembered, read something you love. Go to the library and rekindle your love of reading.