Reading has always been my magical place; my zen, my escape, my fulfillment. I fell in love with books at a very early age. I attribute that to my parents. My dad loved and revered books. He had a collection of books that we kept in a bookcase which we were allowed to read, and look at, but only if we treated the books with the proper respect that they deserved. No sticky or dirty hands….carefully turning the pages. And in our culture, stepping on books is extremely taboo. That was drilled into us from a young age.
My mom had a collection of books and magazines that she always kept by the bed and she always found comfort and peace in reading. Her horoscope, the Farmer’s Almanac and books about faith and spirituality were her go to’s and were well worn from use.
And so, it was no surprise that I grew up loving to read. In addition to loving books, my parents were very strict. I was not allowed to go out socially like my peers and for me, reading gave me the socialization that I was missing in real life. I experienced what first love was like, betrayal, close bonds, the consequences of making bad decisions….the list goes on. And loved it all. Horror, romance, sci fi, murder mysteries….you name it, I read it. But I loved romance the best. The commencement of a relationship, the building of the bond, the question of whether there was a true connection, the doubt and then the affirmation that this was true love gave me joy! When I was younger, I would stay up until 2-3am binge reading. When I would take the subway to work, I could usually read 1 1/2 Harlequins a day.
We did not have a lot of money growing up. But we did have a library close by and that is where we would go every week-end. During the school year, when I was in high school, I would go during my lunch break. I always had to have a book. I may have been a picky eater, but I was not a picky reader! And for me, I always needed a book by my side to sustain me.
Now that I am older and with a lot more on my plate, my love of reading has not diminished – but my time for reading has. That’s life. But my husband and I have passed on our love of reading to our kids. The library has become a place of joy for my kids. And we ensure that the house is full of books. And just like my parents, my bed side is never without a book. And when I find a book I love, I share it with my friends and the book often becomes their birthday present.
It is nice to have this tradition of reading passed on and I hope that my kids pass on this love of books ….and the library to their kids! In light of this, please make sure that your local library gets the support and respect that it is due. I would not be who I am without our public library.
But that’s just one Diva’s point of view.