In the spirit of not letting mental illness define yourself or how you see other people. Diagnosis isn’t a label or an identity. That is what 2016 taught me.
i. In my old house, I didn’t have room for a bookshelf because of all the built-in closet space. One time, a friend came over, saw it and said, “Wow, you must have a lot of clothes.” Another friend who knew me better corrected, “No, half of it’s purely for her books.” What’s in your closet speaks volumes; it’s like compartments of you in physical space. And books may as well be half of me.
ii. I love flipping pages of books. Admittedly, half the time I’m reading, I’ll stop, look at my progress and just flip to my hearts content. That feeling of paper brushing fingertips is incomparable. (And the habit is contagious, just ask some of my friends.)
iii. I’ll never succumb in the argument of paperbacks/hardcovers versus e-books. I know e-books are so much more portable and don’t take up any physical space but isn’t that the point? I want something to take up space in my life, whether it’s in a bookshelf or on a coffee table, I want it there. It’s better than being littered with charger wires.
iv. But in the battle of hardcover versus paperback, I always choose paperback.
v. This summer I’d gone back to my old house to find termites festering in my bookshelf, eating away at the pages and crumbling the spines of my books. My heart broke and I mean that. They weren’t just material possessions. Those books were pieces of me, memories, emotions and gifts from people in my life especially my dad and I felt shattered at the prospect that they could be taken away. Paper perishes. Just like people.
vi. My fondest memory of my dad was going to stores and getting so engrossed in the book sections. I’d show him which ones I liked and never even needed to ask for them. He’d buy it no matter what. He’d never say no to buying me a book. To me, that says everything about his character.
vii. In elementary school in Ottawa, I was that kid who’d get extremely excited about the Scholastic flyers and ordering books off it. I’d count down for the book fairs and don’t even get me started on how awesome the Bibliobus was.
viii. Libraries, to me, are more beautiful than monuments. They’re invaluable and that feeling of walking along the many, many aisles of bookshelves is almost like walking between worlds. They’re right there for you to discover. Plus, they’re so peaceful it’s like time has slowed down or even stopped, in the most wonderful way imaginable.
ix. I really liked the way my teacher in 3rd grade labelled all her books and did the same with mine. One nasty boy in my class ridiculed it.I was quite angry and went into Hermione Granger mode all over him. It’s funny to think about now. ( I was quite the Monica Gellar as a child…I still am now, actually.)
x. In my fourth semester of college I discovered that the most satisfying time to read a new book is during exams. I’d study faster (improperly sometimes) just to settle into bed and read. It really helped take my mind off the tedium of writing those ridiculously long papers.
xi. It doesn’t matter how long my TBR list is, I’ll keep adding to it. It doesn’t matter if I have a lot of unread books sitting at home. I’ll still buy a dozen more.
xii. I enjoy owning books more than borrowing them.
xiii. If my worst enemy gave me a book that I’d love, I’d melt like Olaf in Frozen. Because some books are worth melting for. And I’d have no room left for enmity.
xiv. In rough times, I turn to books. They’re a solace and oh so safe. It’s lovely to be wrapped up in between pages just as you would be in your bed sheets.
xv. The success of finding a new book that doesn’t disappoint is worth celebrating. Usually with another book.
xvi. Re-reading is re-living.
xvii. In the 5th grade, I was in a book club that would read newly published books in the library during recess. It was just as enjoyable as playing outside
xviii. My dad was the one who got me interested in reading and I’ll always have him to thank for the person I am today i.e a bibliophile.
xix. Since I was a child, I always read beyond my age. By the time I was ten, I’d begun reading adult novels. Now that I’m an adult, I so enjoy reading books aimed at younger readers. The grass is always greener on the other side, I suppose.
xx. I don’t mind dog-earing pages and I hate books that have been read and still look brand new. It’s eerie.