Big Beautiful Bodacious...
No, I am not here to talk about my boobs, although there is plenty to talk about there.
No, I am here to talk about my big bookshelves, which, unlike my big boobs, I want you to ogle. I want you to ask me about them. I want you to get closer and fondle the spines and even pull out a text that interests you.
I would be extremely flattered if you even drooled a little bit.
See, books are a pretty integral part of my life and I think they should be a large part of yours also. I am firmly of the camp that believes you can find anything you need to know in a book.
Remember that scene in Richard Bach's The Bridge Across Forever when he found out he was a millionaire since the publication of Jonathan Livingston Seagull ? The first thing he does is go to a library and look for a book about how to be rich.
Likewise, the minute I become intrigued by a new idea or hear about something that piques my interest I am online looking up relevant texts about it. As such, you can tell almost everything about me by looking at my bookshelves.
I look at other people's bookshelves too. I'm not prejudiced about religion, race or sexual orientation, but if you have books by Ann Rice on your shelf we are probably not gonna be very good friends. Likewise, books by Nora Roberts. While the Sweet Potato Queens are a randy, irreverent and funny bunch, I really do not really understand the actual purchase of anything after the first two. I think John Grisham's books should just be sold as one tome with many dust jackets since they are all the same formula. Ditto for most prolific fiction writers.
I once had a lady tell me, "I love books! I like red books, and green books and old leather books." I almost had to slap her.
I found a web site that sells books "by the yard" for decorating purposes. That, in my opinion, is sacrilege.
I once read an article in a women's magazine about decluttering your house. The article suggested ridding your home of all the books because *gasp* "they are dust magnets."
Dust magnets my ass.
Book dust is one of the finest things in life. Ask anyone who frequents used bookstores! I love that musty smell. I once found a first edition The Bell Jar in the very back of a "smelly" old bookstore.
Good times. Good times.
Woe to the person with no books in their house. How do people like that live?! Are they not sad and lonely? Are they not embarrassed?! What do they do in their free time?
Which brings me to another thing. I hate it when people tell me, "I don't have time to read."
Wha...? I have been pretty busy in my life, but I have always managed to find time to read. A lot. As a child I read newspapers, cereal boxes, shampoo bottles, street signs, billboards and anything else with text. Words were magic once I figured out that whole phonics thang.
I truly believe that anyone who does not like to read has just never found the right book or author. Yes, that is right, I do believe that I could probably recommend a book for just about anyone to get excited about.
Little dog knew he was twisting the knife when he said to me, "Uh... I don't really like to read." this was not long after he first inserted said knife by confessing, "I'm not really into music." Rather than return him to the hospital and demand they find my "real" son, I accepted his handicap. I embraced it. I considered it to be a challenge. Yes, he had thrown down the gauntlet and I was NOT going to wave the white flag.
Now he had no problem with being read to at all. By the time he was four we'd been through Seuss, and all of King Arthur's adventures. He'd heard Treasure Island, Peter Pan, Mary Poppins and a whole slew of other classics.
It was the reading himself he objected to.
So it became my mission to find the right books for this boy to get lost in. We tried Matt Christopher's sports related stories, Jerry Spinelli's Caldecott winners and even Lemony Snicket and the wretched lives of those poor children.
You know what finally did it? A book I have never read, and will probably never read. A book written in one of my least favourite genres. A book I have always associated with either Sci Fi nerds or pot heads.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was the book that unlocked his reading mind. He carried it around for weeks. He even took the book jacket off to preserve it - which was one of those times I, as a mother, was so proud I had a tear in my eye.
I finally realised what the problem was. I had been thrusting books at him based on my own tastes and expectations. He was not going to find a love a reading following my lead anymore than he was gonna learn about personal hygiene by watching me apply make up. Some things we simply must come to on our own.
So, now, when I am dusting the bookshelves I always pause for a moment at that hardback copy on the shelf. It has it's jacket back and has found a home amongst my Cummings and Bach. Now there are books littered on the nightstand and floor of Little dog's room - Orson Scott Card, S.E. Hinton and a slew of graphic novels. He's found his pace and while it is slower and less passionate than mine, it is there.
Now, if only I can get him to appreciate Rockabilly music.