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The quietest of friends

Something’s happened, there’s been a shift again.  I think it started by picking colors for our house and imagining a reading room in my head.  Picturing colors, touching fabrics, something stirred and I found myself opening an already packed box of yet-to-be-read books.

Devoured “Defending Jacob” in 2 nights.

defending jackob

Read 3 Reader’s Digest and 5 Oprah Magazines the next.  Stayed up too late last night reading this:

the-girl-in-the-red-coat-by-kate-hamer

Books take me back to my prairie childhood;  Mom helped me get a Library card when I was very young, about 7 (I’m sure she had to co-sign for me).    The Bookmobile arriving to our little prairie town was cause for celebration;  Book Fairs made my mouth water.  I’d buy adventure books, books in a series, fact-finding books, anything books.   I still love the smell of a book, and being in a library calms me.

bookmobile

Our bookmobile looked something like this, only older.

I spent my teens reading Stephen King (“It” – gak I hate clowns) and Peter Benchley (Jaws made me think twice about swimming in the lake at night) and Jacqueline Susann (Valley of the Dolls) or Jean M. Auel’s “Clan of the Cave Bear” series.  I devoured my sister’s magazines, Seventeen,  Glamour and Cosmopolitan.

It’s no wonder that when I feel life closing in, I retreat to books.

home-library-designs-16-500x625

If I had this, I might never come out!

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ― Charles William Eliot

 

How about you? Can you relate?  Did your town have a Bookmobile?  What are you reading now?  What does your “dream room” look like?

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18 thoughts on “The quietest of friends

  1. Oh yea…I too have had a long term relationship with reading…way back in elementary school we could order books from scholastic reader…nothing like the rush of receiving several new books the day the order arrived..White Fang, Jules Verne, Jack London, etc. We have 3 book cases in the room where I’m sitting right now, another one in our bedroom and 2 more out in the storage room. Wife is a reader too. Currently still pecking away @ a 700 page biography about John Muir (full of original correspondence,etc.) Just ordered a 3 volume series based on a BBC series we just finished called Larkrise to Candleford)…side note- I love to order used hardcover books from Amazon prime..can often get them for a dollar or two plus shipping…a fraction of new) I smiled when I read your comment about being scarred by stephen King and clowns. I’ve not read his books, but have watched a portion of a show or two, to know how that could very easily happen. I also liked that phrase “my prairie childhood” think you could use that for a title and theme for another blog post. It stirs something good in me.

    • There’s nothing quite like the anticipation of a new book in your hands, is there? MJ

      • I have 3 hard copy revisions in my possession. and I have to tell you, I am very excited about this final edition!

  2. Oh, yes, the excitement of the Bookmobile coming to our small town during the summer months! You mean: we can just take these books and read them and then bring them back and get more??!!!! And how old were you when you read Valley of the Dolls????? (I sneaked peeks at my {much} older sister’s copy…..naughty!)

    • It was a very exciting time and my book bag bulged at the seams! I was in H.S. when I read the Valley of the Dolls~ but after having read my sisters Glamour and Cosmo it seemed kind of tame !! MJ

  3. We didn’t have a book mobile but the town next to us (about a mile) started up a library. It was heaven. In our family we read very young. Both parents read. Jack London and Zane Grey were my Dad’s favs. We were fairly rural so it replaced sports for us.

    • Mom and Dad read a lot, too and it was just something we all did. Still do. There’s nothing like the feeling of a quiet afternoon in front of me and a new book beside me = heaven!~ MJ

  4. You bet there was a bookmobile. It came to each grade school once a week, and we could check out ten (ten!) books. You’d be surprised where bookmobiles went. Look at this one, from the Louisiana bayous in the 1930s (I believe).

  5. Jaw had the same impact on me!

  6. That is a great room! I wanted a white slip-covered couch at one point. It looks so inviting.

  7. I can relate! We had an amazing library about two or three miles from home. It had a big sunken room for all of the kids books, but it didn’t take me long to move beyond that room. Mom used to walk with all four of us kids and spend some time picking out books to take home, and when we were old enough, she let us ride our bikes there on our own. I loved the sound made by those cellophane covers when I opened a book and remember the smell of them too. I remember my biggest wish at one time was for a backpack, so I’d be able to carry more books home while riding my bike.

    At school, we had opportunities to order books from Scholastica. I remember the flimsy paper flyers and carefully choosing which books I would spend my money on. And what a thrill it was when those brand new books arrived and the teacher passed them out to us in class!

    These days, it’s hard to find time to just be quiet and read for very long. At best, I squeeze in a few minutes to read a daily devotion. “Brooklyn ” by Colm Toibin is sitting on my end table in the living room. I was hooked immediately and I’m slowly making my way through it, which is so unlike me. I’m usually a can’t-put-it-down kind of reader too.

    • You described it perfectly – the sounds of the cellophane covers (remember how if that rested against your bare leg for a while you’d get all sweaty?) My paperbacks smelled like Coppertone b/c I often read outside in the shade or while sun tanning 🙂

      And yes carefully poring over the Scholastica book fair flyers made with the world’s thinnest paper. It was such torture to narrow my choices down and what a process to get there.

      I will check out “Brooklyn” – if you liked that you might enjoy The Orphan Train http://www.amazon.com/Orphan-Train-Christina-Baker-Kline/dp/0061950726 – a very fast read. Enjoy!

      MJ

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