Sometimes its the little things that do the most good. Like the simple pleasure of a book. Books engage and confront. They afford solace and inspired moments. They allow you the spirit to explore that which is not attainable and provide an expansion of knowledge. At times too it seems, they can offer you the greatest of comfort.
William Morris, the creative English novelist, poet and social activist once wrote – have nothing in your home you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful! The beauty and usefulness in my home I know comes from books.
I love books and something quite wonderful happened to me when I moved to America. I was invited into and joined a book group. This is the first book group I have ever been involved with and my Navman was of particular use on the first evening I went. I drove to a small tree lined sub division some 20 minutes from my home. I had only been living in America for about 7 weeks at that stage and driving was a whole new experience….especially at night in icy conditions. I walked up the path to the front steps of a house I had never been to before. It was bitterly cold out but inside the home was a group of warm, welcoming women I then knew very little about. Some were lovers of books and the written word and some just there for some much deserved social stimulation – tip number one: you don’t need to be a book worm to join.
One of the things I enjoy most about this group is that it has allowed me to entwine my life with a group of people I might never have gotten to know. Once a month on a Tuesday evening the doors of a house are opened to welcome and you don’t, as I have discovered, need the requirement of good taste in literature to pass over the threshold. Tip number two: lower your expectations when joining a book group as literary tastes certainly vary. Again a joy of this group is that I have read some books I would not normally have touched with a ten foot pole.
We all bring a dish to share and eat supper together then with glasses of wine or cups of coffee in hand we make ourselves comfortable and ready for discussion. Some books have polarized opinions and the conversations and discussions have been heated yet stimulating. And of course everyone has a differing opinion on what makes that particular months chosen book great or a dud. Often we veer off the intended subject but we always manage to come back again. The hours pass quickly and soon it is late in the evening. We eventually leave but those few hours linked by the unity of a book has reminded us of the small things that are often amiss such as the essence of sharing and companionship……..both of which I am very thankful for.
The days here in Georgia are becoming shorter and cooler and winter will soon be upon us once again (which I find is the perfect reading weather). I am still working my way through the formidable ‘must-do-reading-list’ I set for myself. Down another four classics with only thirty to go now. Currently though, it is ‘fall’. A beautiful season of color and change and Halloween and thanksgiving. I cannot help but wonder what other people give thanks for however I know for me, that I am most thankful to have the gift of reading. Reading and my love of books has offered me the privilege of freedom. Something I will be forever grateful for xx