“A book is a dream you hold in your hand.”
We all have a place we feel inexplicably comfortable. Some of us are strikingly aware of who, what, where this looks like and others are subconsciously drawn to it in times of need. For me, this is anywhere I’m surrounded by books. Public libraries, home libraries, new and old book shops alike and even the random book-filled stall in an antique store — one minute, one hour, I am awash in the inner peace of those moments. The first change we made in our Asheville home was to convert the entry room into a library, hearth and all, what better way for a bibliophile to welcome people into her home.
When I was a child, on the occasional day my mother would announce that she would take us anywhere we wanted to go. Inevitably we would find ourselves at the local library. As soon as she parked the car, we would scurry up the winding sidewalk pausing momentarily only to allow the automatic sliding doors to hum open, unleashing us into a literary world, full of imagination.
Perusing the endless labyrinth of books with the intensity of any treasure hunter, my eyes concentrated on the covers, with their array of colors, thicknesses, fonts, titles, authors, and illustrations. As I slid one from its shelf, I felt a tiny thrill upon hearing the crinkle of the plastic protector – open, close. My mind swirled with the trove of undiscovered secrets and it seemed almost impossible to choose just one story from the feast before me. So with a stack of no less than five books, I would drop down to the floor, legs sprawled across the aisle settling in for the foreseeable future. Soon I was in my own world devouring the tale of my choosing.
There is a special magic to the written word, how it cultivates feelings and curiosity, differently for each person. Reading, re-reading, we absorb the words and collective narrative in increments at our own pace and with our own special interpretation. Even the way a story visually manifests itself within our minds is unique to each of us, setting it apart from other kinds of storytelling mediums. Past, present, or future — we can transform in those moments — acting as time travelers to connect with what intrigues us.
Once I fell in love with books, the affection rooted deep down. Even the desire to be in their presence tugs at me — not only to absorb their wisdom, but also to bask in the familiarity and companionship. No matter where I may be — traveling, dining out, waiting, sitting in front of the fireplace on a chilly night — they provide company, offering words when welcomed and silence when needed.
The heart of a bibliophile and a writer walk hand-in-hand. Literature offers an abundance of journeys through prose, stoking my inquiring mind. Like hushed whispers, each line of the story offers true impetus for my own words to come forward.