I love books. Every room in our house contains a book of some sort. They cover most available surfaces; stacked, piled, strewn, arranged, shelved two or three deep... Phillip and I are surrounded by books; while the clutter drives me batty, I don't think I'd have it any other way.
One of my measures of a successful holiday is the number of books I can read while I'm not working. I'll often try not to read during term time (because I'll stay up late to read) but then I feel bereft. A bit lost, like I'm missing some vital part of myself.
I don't just love the narratives, recounts, illustrations, information and all that marvellous stuff that goes with reading - it goes deeper than that.
To me (and I suspect many others), books conjure up fond memories and of course a variety of emotions. I can't remember a time in my life that I didn't have a book in hand. I associate books with my mum... she is always reading, and I think I get my voracious appetite for reading from my mum. They stir memories of being curled up in bed as Mum would read to me. I used to make tents under my blankets in the middle of the night with my lamp, so I could read a bit more. When we would stay at Perin Auntie’s house, I'd sneak down to the classrooms downstairs (she had a Montessori school in her house) and sit on the floor and read (or try to figure out the Binomial Cube) until I could barely drag myself up the three flights of stairs to get back into bed (I used to love it when the house was full and we'd have to sleep on mattresses in a classroom.) My favourite presents have always been books. I can't even count the number of times I have gone to bed before Phill, only to have him come in and laugh because once again, I've fallen asleep while reading, and more often than not, the book is resting on my face. I relish the conversations and discussions I have with my friends about books - why they were or were not fantastic, which then spiral off into other amazing and inspiring conversations and suppositions. It makes my heart smile when Noah picks up a book and asks someone to read it to him. The way my students become engrossed in the stories we read in class - so excited and anxious to find out what is going to happen next - I love it!
More than the stories, I love the escapism that goes along with a really good book. The fact that when I'm reading, it's all about me and doing something I adore. I admit, it can be hard to take time for myself - so easy to get caught up in all the things that must be done... but it never seems to be hard to find that time when I've got a good book to keep me company. Thank goodness for that.