Books for me are akin to a bank account overflowing with wealth. There is a genuine comfort in knowing that I have, within my reach, a book to get lost in or to learn from or even to simply gaze within all dependent on my mood. Whether it be a classic such as Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird or a tearful, but at the same time uplifting memoir like Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, there is tranquility in knowing I can always take my thoughts somewhere else.
During my days in graduate school, I came to realize that having a solitary book upon my bed stand was equal to having not one. I remember vividly my mentor’s description of the many books beside her bed stand. “A book of every genre because I’m never quite sure what my mood will be at the end of the day. All I know for certain is that I will need a book to end it.” I envisioned two or three stacks, or should I say piles, of books alongside her bed. Although I never saw it, her description was motivation enough for me to slowly begin to relinquish the least bit of guilt for having my own mini-library beside my bed.
As the years have passed, my own pile has grown, shrunk and grown again, depending upon how quickly I keep up. Currently I have Muriel Barbery’s Gourmet Rhapsody, Mireille Guiliano’s French Women for All Seasons, Peter Mayle’s Toujours Provence, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking (the first cookbook I have ever read in bed!) and three other books from the library that looked interesting (I already know I’m going to have to exhaust all of my renewals).
Regardless of how many books I have or how many times I have read my favorites, the beauty of books is that there is always a plethora of new ones to explore. Maybe that’s why books are such a comfort, because it is understood that they will always be there, dependable like a loyal pup.
Here’s to happy reading, and may you find exactly what you need at the end of your day sitting upon your bed stand tonight.