Thanksgiving is the traditional occasion for recalling the many good gifts of life for which we are thankful. With that holiday approaching, it occurred to me that bibliophiles have particular reason to be thankful. Here are ten:
- The gift of words. In well-crafted sentences and paragraphs, filling the imagination with ideas and stories films only poorly capture.
- The feel of a well-made book in one’s hand.
- The smell of books: fresh paper and ink, or the faint mustiness of an older book.
- The discovery of a good series and the thought that there may be two, five, ten or more to follow, where characters become friends (or hated enemies).
- That moment when light and seating, beverage and book merge into a seamless flow of pleasure as we lose ourselves in a story.
- The insight that the world, both real and imagined, is larger, more complicated and interesting that we’d previously thought.
- The re-reading of once, or twice, or thrice-loved books that are never the same book because we are never the same reader.
- The finding of a book on the shelves of a bookstore, or a book sale, that one has always wanted to acquire, as if both you and the book were just waiting this moment.
- The thought that there are professionals, booksellers and librarians, who share our love of books, and work to connect book and reader; where their employment and our enjoyment allow us both to flourish.
- Finally, there are those, usually teachers and parents, who ushered us into the love of story, the printed page, and the wonder of books. Perhaps for these we reserve our greatest thanks, for without them, the rest is not possible.
I could go on and I’m sure you can think of reasons to be thankful connected with books. Why don’t you add them in the comments below, and perhaps share this exercise with your book-loving friends and loved ones this Thursday. Happy Thanksgiving!