I’m an old-fashioned gal when it comes to books. Call me antiquated, but there’s nothing quite like the feel of an ‘actual’ book, the smell of the paper, and being able to flick right on through – all the way to the end. It’s probably akin to buying ‘proper’ CDs and records – but even on this score, I’m sorry to say the advent of modern technology has finally caught up with me and I’m there downloading the latest albums along with the youth of today.
But books. Nope. I’ve toyed with the idea of ‘kindles’ and yes, can see the argument for it being quicker, easier, more efficient to host such books on technology and read them that way. I have flashes of temptation every now and again, but, no. It’s not the same. I love books – the complete experience from selection to read, and then the delight of rediscovering them sat on a bookcase, blowing dust off the covers and thumbing back through them, long after their original completion.
I can also see the arguments (and frankly, much more cost-effective way) for ordering books online and getting them delivered. But the experience is different. I love a good hour or more in a bookshop, browsing the shelves, seeking out new reads that catch my eye and bringing them home. There’s nothing quite like it – and the kids have become advocates of this leisurely pursuit too. My middle kid in particular, is an avid reader and loves being able to go to a bookstore and select some items of choice. Not a cheap activity I know, but I’d have to be dead and gone before I stifle anyone’s interest in the written word.
One of the advantages of having a basement, is that we’ve got plenty of space to construct bookshelves (courtesy of Ikea, a good screwdriver and the patience of a saint) – which now play host to the vast numbers of books we’ve acquired and continue to proliferate. It’s a great space – and the kids can often be found seeking out different books and squirreling them away back to their rooms, taking delight in finding something they’ve long forgotten about. And now, just that little bit older too, enjoying it again by reading it themselves – rather than via the bedtime ritual reading courtesy of Mum & Dad! I’ve even spotted on occasion, the youngest kid cuddled up in bed whilst my middle kid reads her a story from her selection. Both chuckling away and enjoying the imaginative delights that only books can bring.
There have been some awkward moments though. Sometimes we’ve stumbled upon a book which has provoked some interesting discussions – usually at the most un-opportune moments. One memorable event 4 years ago was just after the departure to the heavenly gates in the sky of another of my cats (and whilst we’re on the topic and for those too nervous to ask – yes, my 20-year-old remaining cat is still with us, alive and well). My middle kid had chosen one of the ‘Mog’ books – a selection of tales about a similarly coloured black and white cat named, you guessed it – Mog. We’d acquired a box set and were gradually working our way through the various stories and escapades. This one evening, I opened the next story in the saga entitled, ‘Goodbye Mog’. I should’ve guessed from the title, but not always spotting the obvious, embarked on the story which saw the rather abrupt death of Mog. Astounded and rather aggrieved at such a drastic turn of events, and with the emotion of a similar recent feline departure providing flashbacks, the nightly bedtime ritual saw me attempting to navigate my way through the story complete with sobs, tissues and the inevitable series of direct questions on the topic of death that only kids can manage to ask. Memorable, certainly.
Back to the present day, and the weather here in Edmonton has plummeted in temperature and we’re now in sub-zero, surrounded by snow. There’s only 2 forms of response – get on out there and enjoy it, or snuggle up at home watching the latest flicks ‘on demand’ or reading a good book. On the former (and during daylight hours), I’m embracing the slopes (see earlier blog!) with a spot of skiing and luckily without any visits as yet to the local A&E department. When it’s dark and with a glass of wine in hand, large comfy sofa and roaring fire going, there’s little that competes with enjoying the delights of my latest novel of choice. My only challenge is getting past the end of the first page and not falling asleep too soon from the day’s exertions!!
Happy reading everyone 🙂