musing mondays

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Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying about it.
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

Saturday was an open house at the local library to celebrate a major renovation. Because I'm on the Board of Trustees, I was involved in the planning of the event--which went off without a hitch and was a very lovely celebration. It was a featured story on the local news. It was a regular business day for the library and it was fun to see patrons taking part in the wonderful food and scavenger hunt. There were many families there.

My musing is about the legacy of reading. My memories of my paternal grandparents always include them reading the paper, a magazine, or books. My grandfather was famous for reading the paper and watching TV at the same time. My love of reading was encouraged my whole life. There were always gifts of books no matter what the occasion. One of my favorite high school graduation gifts was a set of dictionaries.

Growing up, I don't remember my sisters being big readers, although there were tons of books in the house. I think I've reminisced before that my first journey by myself was to the library. I was a regular there. I would spend hours reading and browsing and even helping reshelve books. The card catalog fascinated me and I would select books by randomly picking the card.

Most of my childhood friends were not as into books. It wasn't until high school that I traded and passed books among my friends. Most of them were heavy into science fiction but I never got into that genre. My favorite was Stephen King. My 8th grade teacher refused to let me put Stephen King books on my reading lists because he didn't believe my father allowed me to read horror novels. But I was a voracious reader without counting the King books.

Now, it's a great pleasure to talk books with family, friends, colleagues, and even students. I talk books with everyone. Some of my students who profess to be non-readers don't understand my love of the written word and I tell them they haven't found the right books yet; then I suggest a few titles. I am a book gifter, too. I love giving books as gifts. Selecting the title that I think fits the recipient. My transition from the world of physical books to ebooks has hampered my book sharing. I know I've moaned before about the inability to pass along ebooks when I'm finished with them. Being in a book group has broadened my horizons. We've read titles that I never would have picked up on my own. I am a nervous nelly when it comes time to make my recommendation and I'm jittery that people won't respond to the book favorably. But that's part of being in a book group. Not everyone likes every book. I don't want to choose that book.

So, back to the legacy. I love that my family are avid readers. That we enjoy a wide variety of genres. That we talk books and share titles. I hope that I have inspired my students and nieces and nephews to read for pleasure.


JC Jones said...

My sons and I share books all the time. My Father died when I was six and my Mother was busy working to keep food on the table so I don't remember her reading many books but she did read the paper every day. Both my sister and I love to read so I know she encouraged us even though she did could not spend that much time reading herself.

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful post!
My favorite part is when you mention selecting books by choosing random cards from the (old school!) catalog--I don't think I ever did this, but I can certainly imagine myself doing so!

Mevely317 said...

I, too, have enjoyed a love affair with the written word most all my life.

Sometimes ... well, most times, I have to keep a tight rein on my enthusiasm ... remembering that old saying about 'different strokes for different folks.'
For instance?
I was inexplicably hurt last year when someone read a book I'd raved about - one that evoked grief like I'd not felt in years ... then she said it was 'cute.'

Anonymous said...

I've never done a lot of book sharing. But I never actually wanted to give the books I owned to anyone else.

The Gal Herself said...

I loved the newsclip. I think it's great that your community is behind the library, and I admire the commitment you display by being on the board.

gautami tripathy said...

I love sharing books. Always done that. And anyone is welcome to pick my books!

Here is my Musing post.

Anonymous said...

I was the lone book reader in my family for years. Now though, my Dad started reading a little and we trade books on occasion and my Mom likes Jodi Picoult so we often trade those back and forth. My one sister got into reading a few years ago, and would regularly steal books from me.