Books. I like books. They are things that I like.
Books may seem to be a strange topic for me to cover on this site, but when you consider the amount of bookcases in my house it really isn’t all that surprising.
And the truth is, as far as I’m concerned, reading a book is “doing stuff“. And an enjoyable stuff at that.
I’ve loved reading since the beginning of time. The beginning of my time anyway. And … if I may brag here for a moment … I was reading books by the age of 4. I feel entitled to that little bit of bragging because I will also share with you the fact that I never did learn math. At all. When bank tellers and cashiers giving change count the money backwards to me, I just nod and pretend like I understand. I do not. Once when I was trying to convert an ingredient from “pounds” into “cups”, my eyes started to bleed, plus I lost a tooth. It just fell right outta my head from the stress of the math. So … I can’t do math.
The book you see above, titled “Things I Like” is appropriately enough, the book that got me to like books. It’s the first book I remember and I cannot thank my mother enough for saving it. Even though, since Betty isn’t all that sentimental, she probably didn’t save it on purpose, so much as she just never got around to throwing it out. The same way she never got around to throwing out that jar of mayonnaise that expired in Aug. ’96.
When I look at this book and I hear the creak of the waxy, cardboard pages I’m a toddler again. I feel the same way I did then. I feel comfortable and content in the knowledge that all it really takes to make me happy is a picture of odd looking miniature stuffed animals sitting on wooden blocks. That’s it. That’s all I need. And an Espresso maker. But that is all. Plus I guess I nice cup to put the espresso in. And fresh mayonnaise in the fridge. And that is all. That is all I need.
And maybe a little more half decent programming on T.V. That is all.
From stuffed animals I moved onto …
I wanted to be Flossie Bobbsey.
Exit Bobbsey Twins … enter Laura Ingalls … I now wanted to be Laura Ingalls. If you’re a longtime reader of this site you know I still want to be Laura Ingalls. If you have not read this series you should read it. Yes. Even as a grownup.
I’m actually considering rereading the whole Little House on the Prairie series. It if makes me half as happy now as it did then I’ll be … well … half as happy as I was then I guess. Uhhhh half as happy when I was half as old … so … Or would I be twice as happy, cause I’m twice as old as I was when I loved it 100%. Do I need to divide happiness into happiness? Ouch. Akkkkk! My tooth! See? Math.
Now somewhere in between the Bobbsey Twins and Little House on the Prairie I got my hands on this … probably the most frightening book I’ve ever read.
My grandfather’s medical textbook from 1927. I remember hiding in my parent’s bedroom and looking at this book. It contains pictures of conditions and malformations that even TLC wouldn’t broadcast. It was horrifying. But for some reason I was fascinated. I couldn’t get enough of it. It was the perverbial trainwreck you can’t look away from, in handy book form! This medical text is what led me to loving weird things. Oddities. Freaks.
It’s why I own things like an alien in a jar. It’s why there’s a prosthetic leg in my basement and why I’ve toyed with the idea of making a wall hanging out of my leftover soup bones.
It’s what led me to loving books that dealt with those very things. Creepy things.
By the time I got to Grade 6 while other kids were reading Tiger Beat, I was reading this …
… and loving it.
So the next time you think that sitting around reading a book is a waste of time … rethink that notion. Reading is doing stuff. It makes your brain spark in ways it can’t without the help of a book. They make you think, learn and imagine.
I personally think books can mold and form a person in much the same way a parent can. By introducing them to things they didn’t even know existed. If it wasn’t for Laura Ingalls I wouldn’t have been introduced to things like the joy of making your own butter, or the solitary peace of knitting at such a young age. And it’s at that very young age that you develop who you are. You become you. Without the books I read as a child who knows what kind of person I might have become.
A mathematician perhaps.
*Please note, if you subscribe to my email updates, yesterday’s update didn’t go out for some reason. You can view yesterday’s post “Hey! Minimalism! I’m SICK of You!” by clicking here.