What makes books so charming? Even if I just stroke my hand over the cover, wonder about the author's unusual names or admire the picture of the author inside, they always leave me with food for thought. When I visit a new friend, I often have a peep at her bookshelf and the books she chooses. Why? Well, that could give away a whole lot about her!
I always tend to be busy with books. I help out at the school library, the church library and sometimes other charity bookshops. I find comfort in these spaces where I am surrounded by books. Even when they smell musty or the dust make me sneeze, they leave me soothed and inspired.
Some people see books as trusted friends. They are able to speak to you in different ways. They can take you to travel destinations that you might never reach, they can teach you much about life, the past and others. Yes, books make me feel rich - I agree with Thomas Babington Macauly who said, 'I would rather be poor in a cottage full of books than be a king without the desire to read'. I have to admit that I have, at times, skipped a meal or not bought a new lipstick so that I could afford that new book.
I always imagine that readers are good, kind and giving people. I am involved with a group of avid readers who read a book and then leave it for someone to find, whether it be in a coffee shop or on a park bench. We are called 'bookcrossers'.
When I'm on road trips and do a quick stop in a new town, I always wonder where their library could be and what it's like. I thank my parents for reading to me from an early age as I have done the same with my own children. I am sure the talented authors out there are appreciative of us, their audience too - what would their thoughts mean if we did not read them! That brings me to the most wonderful author of all - the One who wrote the Bible which has been proved to be the first printed book ever!
PS I asked my husband to edit this piece for me which he did and then he showed me a poem he wrote while passing time at a coffee shop at Exclusive books. Mmmm, great minds think alike! I added it with his permission.
EXCLUSIVE BOOKS CONSTANTIA
Surrounded by shelves, more than four hundred
Surrounded by books, more than ten thousand
Surrounded by words, More than ten million
Surrounded by stories, facts, figures and pictures
Each cover carefully designed luring like a moth to a light
Each story carefully constructed to thrill and delight
Each author satisfied by the fruits of their labour
Each reader gifted with a story to savour
How many books have ever been written?
How many words committed to paper?
How many stories have ever been told?
How many books have ever been sold?
The spoken word, spoken and lost
The spoken word, never to be unsaid
The spoken word, with beginning and end
The spoken word, for no one to lend
The written word, captured forever
The written word, edited to perfection
The written word, having life without end
The written word, to possess and to lend
Books, as living as they are, will never know
their worth like the authors who penned them
© Andrew J Smith 23 June 2009 All rights reserved