I love books. I’ve always loved books. Trips to the library were great when I was a kid. My first memories of the library in Greeneville were the old one. The one that was the Carnegie Library. My mom read me the whole Wizard of Oz series out loud. I loved it. I carried on the tradition with Harry Potter until Aaron was old enough to read those on his own and didn’t want to wait the chapter a day that we did.
The children’s library was down in the basement. One Summer I remember I got an outline of the library for the summer reading club. As I read a book I got a brick sticker in my library. The goal was to build your own library on paper without Andrew having to give a penny. I was so proud when mine was finished!
Later built the library that is in use today. They had contest to guess what the new library would look like. I painted a picture of what I thought it would look like based on our police station, town hall and such. Turned out I was RIGHT! down to the decorative rail around the crown of the roof. I was again so proud!
Many of the books I read from there have become life long friends. My Side of The Mountain by Jean Craighead George was a favorite that I shared with Aaron. I fell for the love literary writing of Gene Wolfe in his Shadow of the Torturer. I found Gothic romance in Victoria Holt’s books and later matured to enjoy the historical fiction of Eleanor Hibbert’s other pen names. Some books – the titles are long gone from my memory as are the authors to which I owe thanks but their stories, their stories are dear treasured friends.
It wasn’t just the fiction section I loved. I remember getting books about King Tut’s treasures, the old west, Hollywood back in the Studio Heyday, NASA’s space exploration, and so much more. It was all there all free and ALL interesting. I knew how to research before I left high school just because if I wanted to know something I had full faith the library could tell me.
I fully supported libraries every where I went from then to today. I worked in our high school library my senior year. I volunteered full time for two years in Aaron’s elementary school’s library. I still can get lost in a library for hours just browsing. I love them!
Now don’t think that my bibliotheca amor negated my also loving bookstores. I bought and buy books at least weekly. Some old favorites are held together by rubber bands. Seems that some books are great guests you pass on to the next reader’s party and others become treasured family members of your shelves. I can’t tell you how many times I read Gone With The Wind or Jane Eyre in my younger days. Rest You Merry by Charlotte MacLeod has become a personal holiday tradition to read.
When I was driving a lot I got into audiobooks. I love them even more today. I listen when I’m in the car, cleaning the house, doing research, beading, walking the dog, on the bike, and so on. I love them. I prefer the spoken word over music most of the time now. I just can’t get enough of stories, fiction or nonfiction, comic book, printed, or audio – tell me something, tell me something new, tell me something interesting – take me places I can never go, introduce me to people I could never meet, let me be someone else in a new world for awhile. That’s what happens when I read or listen to a story. I’m no longer bored with every day life chores. Audio books have their place but nothing is the same as curling up with a book and immersing yourself in the story, history, life, – the power of the written word. Which is why I aspire to be a writer I’d guess.
So now the question in the title. I say I’m a biblophile – a book lover. Mike claims that no I’m a biblomaniac – crazy over books. We used to playfully argue the point. Really it doesn’t matter – I’m happy. I enjoy books in any form but I think honestly my deepest love still goes back to words on paper – don’t need electricty or programs or players or viewers. Just a bit of light -the sun supplies that daily here- and the willingness to be transported without going anywhere.
If I’m a biblomaniac – I don’t want a cure.
Until next time!