Because I got married at 19, barely a year out of high school, I didn't bring much to my marriage in the way of... assets, I suppose you could say. No furniture, just a hope chest. Very little savings, since I hadn't been working very long. But I did bring something I considered (and still do!!) my greatest treasure. My books.
I have been an avid bookworm basically since I could talk. The biggest trouble I ever got into in school was for reading in class. My teachers would check my backpack and take my books away. I can speed-read like you would not believe. Growing up, my mind was always half in another world. Breathless in delight with Anne of Green Gables under the White Way of Delight... horrified with Jane Eyre discovering Mr. Rochester's secret...roaming the forests with Big Red... freezing in a cow shed with James Herriot... mourning the loss of Ender's childhood... books have always been my greatest comfort and escape. What could be more comfortable than being curled up in a comfy chair with a muffin and a book? Other than being a mom, I wanted to be a librarian. I wanted to recommend books to young people that would change their lives. Stop by sometime, I'll lend you one!! OLD books give me the greatest thrill. As Anne would say, a "queer ache". Something about the way they feel... and smell... and look... I can never get used to reading on Kindles or iPads. Must turn pages. A few years ago my mom just started asking me what I wanted for my birthday, instead of trying to surprise me. I asked for this 1937 copy of Wilkie Collins's "The Woman in White".
And my collecting began!! Last April she found me an absolute treasure trove, including this beautiful little book...(my sister Sarah actually gets credit for it)
And this beast...my oldest book... British Poets from 1831. That's 16 years before Jane Eyre, my favorite book of all time was published!! Charlotte Bronte could have READ this book!! The thought makes me all tingly!!
Just like food, books are always better when shared!! So I have a few recommendations. First up: "Crocodile on the Sandbank" by Elizabeth Peters. Imagine Indiana Jones. Now imagine he's a woman. Married to an Egyptologist. With a knack for attracting unsavory characters, which of course cause trouble that just MUST be investigated, reinforced parasol in hand!! Even my husband loves Elizabeth Peters. She's clever, and funny, and her characters are so lovable. Give it a try, you'll have a blast. Second: "Winter Solstice" by Rosamund Pilcher. A warm, homey story of strangers drawn together by coincidence, helping each other through sticky patches in life. Every time I read this book, I cry at the last page. Even though I know what's coming, I cry anyway. A good cry :) Go see what I mean. Grab a muffin, tune out the world, and enjoy a book. I just might join you...