Monday, March 19, 2018

Comfort Library

I sometimes shake my head when folks talk about not being able to afford something to read. Back when I was very young--maybe four or five--my parents started buying books. Real books, not Golden books. Actually, I'm not sure they sold them around where we lived. No, my parents bought hardback books--an entire sixteen volume set of them. One volume has stories for the young. Another is entirely poetry. You name it, there's a volume for it, including science fiction and fantasy. And the wonder is, this was sixty years ago. We lived in such a small town there was no library, but we didn't need one because we had our own.

I still have those books. My children and my grandchildren have read them. And yes, I still read them, too.

Over time, I've collected books of my own. Favorite authors, classics, research books, and how-to books. A friend once came to visit me with an acquaintance I had never met. He stood in my living room, gawking at the 6K+ books stashed in multiple bookcases. My friend told him I probably had a book on almost any subject he could think of. He blurted out, "Ancient weapons." And then just stared when I pulled not one, but two books on ancient weapons from the shelf.

Other folks worry about furniture or pictures for their walls. I have bookcases. Not enough, of course, so I double book them. I'm never for a loss when I want to read, because a) I have a lot of books, and b) I re-read them. I don't keep a book unless it's a keeper, a book I know I'll want to re-read.

I'm insatiably curious about all sorts of stuff. I could travel to the library and hope they had an appropriate book, but then I'd have to worry about returning it. And I like to take my time perusing books on new subjects. The solution is buy my own. Some come from second hand shops. Some I find online. And some I purchase new from bookstores. My last two books were a) a book on chair yoga, and b) a book on the Aztecs and Mayas. I'm still working my way through them.

So when others are watching movies or television, I'm likely reading. Traveling? Definitely reading. Sick? Reading. In the waiting room at the clinic? Reading.

Reading. It's the comfort for the modern man or woman.

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