From as far back as I can remember I have loved books.
Childrens books. Biographies. Fiction. Non fiction
I will never forget the day that my Dad bought a collection of five thousand books at an auction
and instantly we had a library in our home.
Shining moment all over.
That upstairs library was filled with all kinds of stories that carried me away to new places and people.
“Yes, you can borrow anything as long as you put it back in it’s place,” I was told.
So I satisfied my love for adventure and learning
by hours and hours of reading.
My older brother and I discovered an old copy of a book of Amos and Andy skits
and we spent hours and hours of fun
learning our lines and selling tickets to our hilarious plays.
My parents always encouraged us in not only our acting but also to read – yes, to read widely.
From a young age I had my own bookshelves in my room
and my own beloved copies of Little Women, The Secret Garden,
Anne of Green Gables and many others.
Words cannot begin to describe my pure joy of curling up with my pillow and a good book.
As the years went by I got more shelves in my bedroom and of course more friends.
Then when I was in high school my Dad opened a book store in Owego, N.Y.
Greenmantle became a well known place where you could find a treasured book
for just that special person or occasion.
About that time I began writing on small pieces of paper.
A reflection here
A poem there
A story from time to time.
Most of these are long since lost but I will never forget that poem that won a prize while I was in school.
“My Old Home Town.”
Thoughts of familiar people who brightened up my world
and large, familiar homes with huge front porches .
Leaf covered sidewalks and the beloved Susquehanna River.
Snow piles and colorful parades. Yes, these memories and more were woven into that simple poem.
It became my first of many writings.
Yes, following in the steps of those writers whose works filled those bookshelves
I wrote and began attending writers conferences
meeting other writers and editors and developing my gift.
Yes, books became not only a pleasurable past time
but also a stepping stone to a world of adventure and more.
It would be many years until I finally went abroad myself
and saw with my own eyes
places that I had read about as a young girl.
In many ways our world is different today
but I still thrill at the sound of turning pages and the smell of an old familiar book
and I still cherish my writer friends who hold such an important place in my life.
Yes, I’m forever grateful for this love of books and writing
that my father passed down to me so many years ago.
It continues to shape my life
and give light to each season of life.
How about you?
Does a book hold an important place in your life?
If so, you are rich beyond words.