Sunday, September 27, 2009

::: for the love of books

since i was a young child, i have been enthralled with reading. the love of literature is most assuredly weaved into my very DNA. i can recall, with absolute fondness, sitting curled up under our dining room table, just devouring "chapter books". i was so pleased with myself that i could finish one so quickly. and got an inner thrill that i was able to read books with more words and less pictures. this was perhaps first grade.

i had such a comprehensive little library. the american girl collection. tuck everlasting. the bear's house. sadako and the thousand paper cranes. little house on the prairie. the boxcar children. the babysitters club. nancy drew. wayside school. the mixed up files of miss basil e. frankwiler. and most belovedly: Charlotte's web and anne of green gables.

when i was about 7 or 8, my mother joined forces with our next door neighbor to have a combined garage sale. i loved pilfering through all the odds and ends. all the little bits of discarded belongings. it was magic to me. among the treasures brought over from the neighbors house, was an early edition of the book Charlotte's web. i can still see the cover in my mind. navy blue material, stretched tightly to meet a cream binding. the dust jacket was missing, but i didn't mind, because it allowed a little embossed picture of wilbur the pig and Charlotte to be seen. i begged to keep the book, and was promised i could have it if i read the whole thing. my neighbor even promised she would rent me the movie, if i read the book first. i was in little child heaven!

it wasn't until i was a bit older that i discovered a magical world--that i still haven't left yet. the world at green gables. i am embarrassed to say, but i think my love affair with prince edward island and red hair and poetry, began with the movie. on certain days, when the wind was blowing just so, we could get a perfectly crisp picture on the television of the Canadian channel. i would watch the anne movies and 'road to avonlea', and be mystified. for christmas one year, my mom bought me the complete anne box set, and i wasted no time digging into them. i flew through the first ones, because i already knew those stories, and took my time reading the later books. i recall loving 'anne's house of dreams'. i was infatuated with learning more about anne and gilbert as they grew up, got married, had children. it's amazing how books can take you, so swiftly, into a completely new world.

i've never abandoned my love for those stories, so you can imagine the thrill it gave me to discover this volume:

the 100th anniversary hardcover edition of the original 'anne' book. what a delight! i purchased it immediately! some things just never, ever get old.

i love books. i love what books have to say. i love words. i recently discovered this quote, via a delightful little blog called 'all things new'--- and i think it sums everything up pretty nicely::

"He loved a book because it was a book; he loved its odor, its form, its title. What he loved in a manuscript was its old illegible date, the bizarre and strange Gothic characters, the heavy gilding which loaded its drawings. It was its pages covered with dust -- dust of which he breathed the sweet and tender perfume with delight." -Gustave Flaubert


  1. my sister and mom and i are in love with the anne of green gables series as well. we often quote it. and have read the books countless times. one summer my family traveled to prince edward island and saw the places that inspired lucy maud montgomery. magical.
    another quote about reading:
    a really good book doesn't just entertain; it leaves you fundamentally different, it's both a mirror and a magnifying glass - a woven compilation of seemingly small details that has the power to show you your truest self.

  2. oh my... i need to get a copy of that anne of green gables hardcover! my old paperbacks are so worn down!