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I Love Books

Today I walked out of a bookstore and felt like the richest person in the world, even though I had spent money. Actually I walked out of two bookstores and went home with a total of seven books. I couldn’t pass up a 50% off coupon at a Christian bookstore, and I used a Christmas gift card at the next store. I had hoarded that gift card for months, sometimes writing down names of desired books, and even taking photos of ones to remember. It was so difficult to decide on the books since I saw about five more that tempted me. Some people cannot resist coffee shops, electronics stores, or fast food—I always feel the magnetic pull of a book store. Rarely do I finish a book before another one or two joins my collection of “friends” to be awarded shelf or Kindle space.

Years ago our son began his personal goal of reading a book for the life of every president of the United States. I forget which president he is currently reading but I see the result of reading to him as a toddler, boy and teenager.

I read a lot of books to my two grandsons. A whole row at the bottom of one of our bookcases is dedicated for their books. Yesterday I spent about an hour total reading books to my youngest grandson, age two. Before his nap-time we sang “Happy, Happy Home” with verses for many family members and then he asked for a verse for “books.” At first I didn’t understand the word, but then we sang “with books in the family, happy happy home.” I believe I have completed one of my life missions…

Our oldest grandson, age five, is beginning to read and that is such an exciting stage. There are words to understand everywhere he looks. I can’t wait for him to read books to me! And I am reminded that this is prime time for me to actually write another children’s book.

Looking back at the pages of my life, I spent many childhood summers anxiously waiting for days when the county bookmobile came to a little country store. I remember at age 12 being overwhelmed with the luxury of owning the Encyclopedia Brittanica in my home. My father sacrificed so I could do my homework without a nearby library. I thought about reading each volume but amended that goal to 50 books in the school library during eighth grade. I still recall the impact of several of those books.

I have spent a lot of time in the past 20 years researching the best ways to nourish my body, the best ingredients, best recipes, best restaurant menus, etc. Reading is one of the ways I have nourished my mind and has provided me with concepts, science, inspiration and opinions to discuss with other people.

As more bookstores close and human attention spans dwindle, I savor the privilege of freely selecting, owning and sharing a variety of books. I appreciate living in a country where I have been exposed to many ideas, life stories, histories, and creative expressions. Daily I am blessed by the words of the Bible, and inspiring stories in printed form.

Walking to my car today with a bag of new books was an extravagant, enriched feeling. Where to start reading in this new tantalizing stack?

Questions for personal journaling or group discussion:

1. What would a person learn about you by observing the books in your home?

2. What books would you currently recommend for a reading club in your neighborhood?

Karen Spruill writes from Orlando, Florida.

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About Karen Spruill

Karen Spruill

writes from Orlando, Florida.

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