By Cynthia Ray
Last week on the Shadowspinners blog, Elizabeth Engstrom said, “What’s better than receiving a good book for Christmas? Nothing. Seriously. There’s nothing better.”
Only one thing could be better than receiving a book, and that is reading the book. It is not the book itself, but the story contained therein that is the true gift. READING. I can open my kindle app or pull out a paperback,anytime, anywhere, and immediately be immersed in other worlds and other times.
People that love to read always find time to indulge in this activity. While idling in line at the post office, or in the dentists waiting room, in the bathroom, on the beach, and every night before sleep, during coffee and lunch breaks, sitting on the bus, or in a lawn chair in the backyard-weeding be damned!
My love affiar with reading began as a child–books transported me into other worlds. I read the same stories over and over. Books like Heidi, Black Beauty, Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, and all the volumes of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Anderson. The characters were my friends and I loved them.
I live with messy piles of books around my bed, and shelves crammed with eclectic volumes on a wide range of topics For a while, I co-owned a small bookstore in a small town called “The Passport”. Books are a passport to a thousand places, and do not require a reservation, or any outlay of cash. Emily Dickensen felt the same way and says it well:
There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry—
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll—
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human soul.
This week, I am in the middle of moving, and in the midst of boxes, things to do, and the general chaos of dismantling my life in one place and re-creating it in another. My hard cover books and paperbacks are packed up and ready to be opened and loved like the old friends they are, but I still take time to read—not a day goes by that I do not read. I sit down in a corner with my kindle and away I go, to whatever world or story the author has crafted for me.
Reading is entertainment and pleasure. Reading is transformatave, dangerous and radical. Reading can be frightening. Reading hurts. Reading is life.