I love the dog-eared pages, sometimes the same one over and over as I squeeze lines or paragraphs into stolen moments in a busy day. I love the way wine and chocolate and whatever I was stirring in the pot while standing there holding the book stains the pages, leaving indelible reminders of my life. I even love the messy remains from writing in the margins, my left-handedness smearing the ink, and the way the curled edges of the cover tells the story of a sudden rain while I was sitting on a curb, reading, waiting for a child or a friend.
They are my constant companions, my books. Verlyn Klinkenborg’s Timothy, or Notes of an Abject Reptile (told from the point of view of a turtle, for goodness sake) goes on walks with me, my head bent down, my feet moving slowly, my ears and other senses attuned to obstructions along the side-walked way. A School for My Village, by Twesigye Jackson Kaguri (whom I just saw speak) sits beside me in the car, climbing into my lap, my hands, my heart at red lights and when I arrive somewhere five or ten (or if there is a God in heaven) fifteen minutes early, or whenever else I can steal a few moments to be alone with it, hearing his actual voice in my head.
My younger daughter and I just discovered a Bobbsey Twinsbook from my childhood. My maiden name, so strange to me now, is written in it in perfectly neat handwriting, my parental nagging to write in cursive even if the teachers don’t require it suddenly making sense to her. I tell her that beautiful handwriting can one day cause a loved one to cry at the mere sight of it, and I think of this later, when I write (with ink that doesn’t smear) in the copies of my book that I put away for my daughters for when they are older, for when they have children of her own, for when they have time or necessity to read it, for when, perhaps, there are no longer actual books. And as I feel the weight of my book, the weight of the moments of my life, I realize that I am not quite ready for Kindle.Pattie Baker writes the blog FoodShed Planet and is the author of Food for My Daughters: what one mom did when they towers fell (and what you can do, too). It is available as an actual book on Better World Books.
*Note* The above blog post is a guest blog from our friend Patty, the author of “Food for My Duaghters.” This content does not necessarily reflect the views of Better World Books (as our lawyers make sure we say). We love having guest bloggers and invite you to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in covering a book or topic on the BWB Blog. Thank you, Patty!