by Cheryl G. (Poncer)
As a child, with a not too happy existence, books were a lifeline to a more gentle peaceful reality for me. The first chapter book I remember falling in love with, Helen Keller’s The Story of My Life, is a book I credit with allowing me to know that pain and loneliness was not something that was exclusive to me. (An eye opening lesson for a child, one I try to remember daily) Helen and Anne Sullivan became my heroes, my examples and my friends. I read everything by Helen Keller that I could get my hands on. The poor school librarian, I hope I thanked her enough for all the extra work I put her through.
As teenager, and as a young adult, books remained one of the few constants in my life. There was always book in the back pocket of my jeans. I still love a mass market size book. They are thoroughly transportable, easy to hold, and if the pages get ruffled or the cover gets bent, it isn’t the end of world. Hardcover books are beautiful, and great for bookshelves but give me a mass market paperback any day.
I once dated a guy who did not understand the importance of books. (IMAGINE THAT! It makes me shudder to this day!) We were coming back from dinner in NYC and waiting for a subway train rather late one evening. I, of course, pulled out the book I was reading at the time. I mean, what else do you do when you are waiting for a train on a subway platform? I guess he got a bit tired of being ignored and he took the book from my hand and tossed it down on the tracks! ON THE TRACKS! In my first moment of horror, I did consider jumping down there to get it. How was I going to live without knowing how the book ended? I was completely and utterly stunned. This guy had just murdered my book. And here it was nearly midnight, where could I possibly get another copy so I could read the book while falling asleep when I got home? Needless to say, even though he may have been considered quite a catch, I never saw the guy again. But the story does have a happy ending. The next day I purchased another copy of the book and finished reading it on the way home from the bookstore.
Since then, I have met many people who have commented that I “have a lot of books”, “so many books” and some who have said, “too many books”. Um, there is no such thing as too many books.
When I found PaperBackSwap I found many people who embraced this philosphy. It was like coming home. Finally, folks who understood! And books galore! More books than I could ever imagine, and all there for the price of a credit. I was, and still am in HEAVEN. BOOK HEAVEN!
I currently have two 6 foot bookshelves full to capacity, two 4 foot bookshelves also brimming, a pile of books 2 feet high on an end table and a new pile growing on top of my file cabinet. And maybe, just maybe, I now have a lot of books. But I figure if I read one a day and live to be 117 years and 7 months old, I can read all the ones that are here waiting for me! Have I mentioned that I love books?
Thank you Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan for a gift that has enriched my life!
August 9th is Book Lover’s Day. As a self respecting, life-long book lover, I feel 1 day is just not a sufficient period of time to celebrate books. So this week is hereby declared Book Lover’s Week!