Monday Musings: Read Across America Day

 Read Across America DayPart of my personal library with some really old books I inherited from my father.

Today on Emmet Street, we’re celebrating National Read Across America Day. This day was started back in 1997 by the National Education Association (NEA) to encourage children to read. It coincides with the birthday of Dr. Seuss, one of my favorite authors.

To celebrate, I’m turning off the television, curling up under a warm blanket and immersing myself in the final book of the Divergent trilogy,  Allegiant. I can’t wait to find out how it ends! No spoilers!

Looking for your next read? We wax poetic about the magic of books quite often on Emmet Street. Check out some of our past posts for ideas:

Have you seen our Home Library Lust board on Pinterest? (Why not jump on over and follow us?) Here are some of our recent book-related pins:

  • Books in the ceiling – Just getting a book down from this library would be a great adventure!
  • Little Free Library – Give a book, take a book, spread the joy.
  • TV library – Looking to recycle your old boxy television? There are some great ideas here, including a TV library!

There’s nothing worse than a good book

 There's nothing worse than a good book!Image credit: Mr. Potato Head Has His Nose in a Good Book by Enokson on Flickr. CC by 2.0.

Recently I mourned the passing of autumn and declared I had started a mental list of the books I plan to read while I’m hunkered down indoors this winter.

Despite my love of libraries and books, I have a confession to make: I hate reading fiction.

More precisely, I hate reading engaging fiction. When I’m immersed in a good tale, I can think of nothing else until the book is done.

The best feeling in the world is sitting on the couch or in a comfy chair, tucked into a snuggly blanket with a warm beverage nearby and getting lost in the world before me on the printed page. I feel warm inside and out; all my woes melt away.

Immersed in the story, I AM the adventurer, the solver of mysteries, the seductress. I fly through the pages, ravenous to see how it turns out.

Then I get to the last chapters.

A feeling of dread comes over me. “Is it really almost over?” I ask myself. I slow down, reluctant to read the last word, on the last page. When I get there, I suffer a feeling of loss. I’ve gotten to know and love the characters. They’ve become real to me. Is this really the end? It’s not fair. I want to see your love grow, your children grow, your achievements to get achieveier, your mysteries to get mysterier. I’ve stuck by your side this whole time and now you’re leaving me?

Then I come to my senses, remind myself it’s just a book and I have a huge backlog of others I need to get to. And so it begins anew…

What about you? Am I the only one with these obsessive tendencies? (Please validate that I’m not!) What was the last book you read that took over your life like this?

It’s not you, it’s me

Books HD

Image credit: Books HD by Abhi Sharma, on Flickr. CC by 2.0. 

I have a confession to make: I don’t want to lend you my books.

Books are revered objects to me and I can’t bear the idea that they might be damaged when they are not under my supervision.

I’m sure this protective impulse comes from my childhood. I L-O-V-E-D to read, but buying books was a financial extravagance. Sometimes I had a little money squirreled away or my mom found a little extra in the household budget for me to order a book from the school book club, but that was a rare event. Luckily for me, my small town had a library large enough to satisfy my reading appetite (and employed a librarian that did a great job rotating the supply with books from the other county library branches).

I still use the library as my primary source of reading material, but now I can afford to augment my supply by buying books. Coming from a frugal background, I take care of my stuff and keep it in good condition. If I offer to lend you a book, you have earned a high level of trust with me.

Occasionally, my good judgment fails me.

During one past relationship, I entrusted my date with a book that was of special importance to me. We had discussed it and I was persuasive in my review of the quality of the writing and advice it offered, so he asked to borrow it. I trusted him, so I allowed him to do so.

I found out he had a character defect I missed: He didn’t care for things like I did and he ruined my book. When he had the nerve to return it, the pages were warped because he read it in the bathtub and dropped it in the water. He had also used it as a coaster for his overfull coffee cup; the telltale rings were all over the cover.

I was horrified by his lack of respect for something that belonged to me, and I knew the relationship was doomed. He didn’t even offer to replace it. Jerk. After we parted ways, I replaced my damaged book with a pristine copy and vowed—as God as my witness—I would never lend it again.

So, to those of you that know me in real life, please don’t be offended if, instead of offering to loan you a book, I gently encourage you to patronize your local library. Not only is it a good practice to honor your local library with a visit, it’s good practice to preserve a harmonious relationship with me.

What about you? Do you feel protective of the books you own? If you are protective, are you protective of all your books or just certain titles? Tell me your thoughts (even if it is to tell me I’m cuckoo)!