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Treasuring the comfort of many books | Home Again


Last updated 2/20/2020 at 9:50am

Late this morning, the temperature hovering in the mid-40s, I wrapped a furry blanket around my shoulders and carried coffee and a book out to the deck, where I settled in for an hour’s read before I tackled anything on my to-do list.

It felt just right to coast happily through a chunk of the morning without glancing at the list I jotted before bedtime. Any day without specific appointments or obligations – there aren’t many of those days – feels like a tiny vacation.

It was summertime when I listed the stack of books I intended to read by fall; I finished most of those books by September, and was pleased to hear from readers who chose to read those books. But this is why so many of us belong to book clubs, isn’t it?

We enjoy either reading a specific title someone else has read and recommended, or we like reading something at the same time others are doing so and gathering for a discussion of the chosen book. Readers like to share what they’re reading.

I’ve loved libraries since I was 4 years old. My 16-year-old granddaughter says she doesn’t have time to read for pleasure anymore, but I put great stock in her childhood years of sitting silently on the couch in the family living room, her dad across from her in his leather chair, each engrossed in a book, the only sound the small swish of a page turning and the ticking of an old wooden clock.

She will read again for pleasure, I know.

Oh, yes, there’s Kindle. And iPads. There are audio books, a special boon to those with vision issues or who travel long distances in cars and enjoy entire books through the hours of a trip. I like that, too, during a solitary six-hour drive to northern Idaho.

But, as my readers have shared, if one grows up feeling a sort of reverence for the heft of a book in the hand, or the crisp folds of a newspaper, technology is not requisite for absorbing the magic of words – fiction or nonfiction, news or entertainment.

Statistics favor middle-aged readers going online to read publications. I get that. Older readers – not surprisingly – don’t count for so much when they pick up a copy of their free (Imagine it – free!) local newspaper to carry home for the pleasure of the newsprint presence of it.

It would be difficult to gather statistics reflecting their pleasure. My Kindle languishes, books contained silently within it, waiting, just in case I should choose to flip its little switch and hold its plastic self in my hands to read.

In the meantime, I continue to pack paperbacks for travel, part of my pleasure in leaving each one behind for someone else when I’m finished. It’s just a comfortable way for me to be, and it pleases me to know other people still feel that way, too.

Have I mentioned the small library stacked in a niche at the back of the center armrest in the back seat of my car? It holds a paperback classic or two. A kids’ book or two. A novel or two. Sports. Poetry. There’s a pillow and a soft throw in case someone needs to pull over to the side of the road for a rest or a grandchild becomes bored looking out the window and wants to read about soccer. It’s all right there.

Speaking of books, my own Edmonds Writing Sisters will be at the Neverending Bookshop, 7530 Olympic View Drive, #105, Perrinville, this Saturday, Feb. 22.

From 2-3 p.m., we’ll read from our anthology, “Writing in Place: Prose and Poetry from the Pacific Northwest.” We’d be pleased to have you join us.


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