You are What You Read

I love reading! 

At a very young age, my great grandmother would lay beside me during her long summer visits to the island and read rich Mother Goose tales for what seemed like hours! In elementary school, I recall a very petite librarian, Mrs. Taniguchi, teaching my class how to delicately turn the pages of a book from the corner, with the precision that only another true book lover could have. Even the grocery store offered little literary treats like Archie comic books. During awkward middle school years, I’d bury myself in the public library until the sun nearly set and emerge having visited lands far away!

“How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book” ~Henry David Thoreau

As a woman who has finished college, married, had a career, had many children, stayed home to raise those many children, and now is stepping back into the world that zoomed right by while I birthed, nursed and cared for an ever growing family,  I realize that my first love never left my side. I can look on my bookshelves and there I’ll find my journey on the spines of each book that sits there.

The college days with Maya Angelou leading the pack of feminist lit and even more niche–minority, fem lit! Ah, the days when I could shout, “I am woman–hear me ROAR!” Followed by some pretty sappy Danielle Steel during the early years of wedded bliss. The pace picked up with several Michael Crichtons and an occasional Umberto Eco just to make sure my brain hadn’t turned into overcommercialized mush.

Then…crickets. Literary silence. But wait! A flurry of magazines take their place. Child, Parenting, Parents, Cookie, Parent & Child. I didn’t even subscribe. I paid FULL newsstand price for those glossy babies because I was information and entertainment starved and refused to wait for surface mail. I figured, if I could spend $150 a month on diapers, $25 for magazines was a drop in the Diaper Genie!

Oh, there were still books. What to Expect When Your Expecting. What to Expect in the Toddler Years. Then, If Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy! There was also all the Girlfriends Guide books when I was attempting to get my Groove Back–but only found I was getting another growing belly back. I got books like The Mask of Motherhood which I actually found kind of whiney. Amid all this,  started buying books like The Stay-at-Home Parent’s Survival Guide and Minding Your Kids Without Losing Yours. Are you seeing a trend here? Yes, I was living on the brink!

But one day, and I’m not sure when it was, I bought a simple book by Nicholas Sparks. It was relatively thin, entertaining, emotional and full of life. Sparks was like a breath of fresh air. Then Mitch Albom. Then I got my Amazon Kindle. YES!

Books on demand. What? This is crazy! I am SO loving life right now. I have read Help, The Lovely Bones, My Sister’s Keeper and Linchpin–all within a couple of weeks. Today, I am reading Have a New Kid by Friday. Still working on improving the parenting strategies! I am also working on a couple of Max Lucado’s inspiring books.

The coolest, most awesome book of all that is both on my shelf and on my Kindle is the Bible. Amid all the changes in life illustrated, sometimes humorously, through the books  I read (or don’t read), I have found that one Golden Book that makes all others possible. Thank God–literally!

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