Books Are My Treasure Things

I’m not a fan of e-book readers. Maybe I will be someday. But I still like holding a book in my hands. I like to turn pages. I like to flip through chapters to see what’s ahead. I skim sections, noting what I want to savor thoroughly as I read. Growing up, I was quiet, serious and bookish. Long summer days stretching ahead of me always meant that I had a lot more time for reading books. I was never bored. I could spend my days on the porch with girl-detectives Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden and Cherry Ames, the nurse who solved mysteries.

Books helped connect me to my favorite memories. I first read Anne of Green Gables on the beach during a summer vacation in Ft. Lauderdale. When I got home, I imagined the woods in my backyard were Violet Vale, where Anne and her best friend Diana spent so many happy days. When I read the Little House books, I wore a sunbonnet one summer like Laura and Mary Ingalls. When I spotted a ladybug on the curtains at my grandmother’s house, I wondered if it could be the same bug visiting her day in and day out, like Charlotte the friendly spider in Charlotte’s Web. (My grandmother humored me and named the bug Oscar.)

I didn’t really like loaning my books to my school friends. They didn’t keep them in the pristine condition that I did, without wrinkles on the covers or rips or tears on the pages. I didn’t really even like my sister borrowing my books. To make sure she didn’t keep any of my books next door in her room for an inordinate amount of time, I created my own library check-out system. I wrote the titles of all my books on index cards and kept them in a recipe box, making her sign out a book whenever she wanted to read it. I also sent her late notices with warnings of a fine if the book was overdue. (Maybe I was a little obsessive.)

Vintage bookends hold up my vintage books.
The library is still one of my favorite places. No matter how often I’ve perused the shelves, there’s always something new that sparks my interest. I feel a little anxious if I don’t have a stack of books to check out. I imagine some calamity happening and I’m left in a crisis without a book to read. What would I do?

Now, I like to read biographies or letters and diaries from families of centuries past. I like to read about how they met the challenges of life. It inspires me. Comforts me. Strengthens me. Summer days and a pile of books stacked on the floor beside my bed. Waiting for me to delve into. I can’t wait to turn the pages.

Summer Reading
Besides the books on Paris I’m reading now, this summer I’m also anxious to dive into Sisters of Fortune: America’s Caton Sisters at Home and Abroad by Jehanne Wake, The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken: A Search for Food and Family by Laura Schenone, and a reread of one of the funniest books I’ve read on the renovation of a house, All the Way Home by David Giffels.

If you’re looking for a little inspiration this summer, I’ve recently read:
  • Craving Grace by Lisa Velthouse – In this honest memoir, Lisa shares her journey of faith.
  • Named by God by Kasey Van Norman – Kasey’s personal story is compelling as she relates how she has overcome her past, transformed her present and embraced her future.
  • Anything by Jennie Allen – Jennie shares her personal experience when she boldly prayed "anything" and handed God everything. 
  • You’re Already Amazing by Holley Gerth – Holley uses her experience as a counselor to show that God already thinks we’re amazing because we’re one of his creations. She urges women to embrace who they are instead of searching for an elusive formula to be the do-it-all woman.

Comments

  1. Again, your photos are beautiful and artfully arranged!
    Thanks for the reading ideas!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words! I appreciate them! :)

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  2. The photo layouts were really great and I had a big laugh over your story of charging late fees to your sister.

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    1. Thank you Kate! Your sweet comment finally made its way to me! Many, many thanks for visiting and commenting -- it means so much! :)

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  3. This reminded me of my love of books growing up. I still have to reread Anne of Green Gables every year. I love the story of your childhood library! Too funny. Can't wait for your next post.
    Christy

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    1. Hi Christy,
      Anne of Green Gables is so wonderful, isn't it? I think I'll join you in rereading it this year, too! I can't wait to revisit Violet Vale!

      Valerie

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  4. You have an amazing book collection. I am a huge Anne of Green Gables fan and have made my son Sam watch all 3 Anne movies too :)

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    1. Amy,
      The Anne movies are wonderful -- I think I liked them almost as much as the books! I'm so glad Sam enjoyed them, too!

      Valerie

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