I love to read. I crave the time I spend with authors who take me to other times and places. I savor the chance to learn why other people think what they think, especially when it contrasts my own ideas. I thirst for knowledge and find satisfaction when led and taught by those who have taken time to put their knowledge down in books.
Amy and I have over a thousand books in our home. These are just the ones printed on paper; sacred paper. They are the ones I can hold in my hands. These are the ones that each feel different from each other; that weigh different amounts; that are different sizes and colors. These are the cherished ones that tell me how I am supposed to feel before I even open the cover. They are the ones that will soon become extinct.
The many book cases located throughout our home were beyond capacity at the end of 2011 and I was trying to decide where in the world I might place another one when I finally broke down. It was time to get with the times. My library grew by fifty-four books in 2012 and I never added that book case. My electronic reader of choice (my smart phone) doesn’t seem to be any heavier and I find myself reading even more because I always have more books than I can digest—right at my fingertips—whenever I find a spare moment. I still get the knowledge. I still go to Russia, learn about adoption, increase my understanding about my kids, my wife, adoption, and challenges of all sorts and sizes. I still get to guess “who done it” in my thrillers as I travel to other countries on the coattails of books and I still feed my unquenchable thirst for knowledge. I still get most of what I want from the glowing screen and words bound by plastic; so they all feel the same.
But sometimes it’s not enough. Sometimes I pull down an old hard cover with a faded dust jacket, or better yet, a book bound in textured leather with edges gilded and shining. Then I sit in a soft, deep chair in front of our fireplace while I drift away. Almost unconsciously, I stroke the book and feel its texture while I live in one world and experience another.
I love reading and everything it has brought to my life. I love books in print or in light, and all of the freedom and knowledge they represent.