If such a thing is possible, I read too much. I always have. I can remember pouring over the elementary Scholastic book offerings with a kind of devotion I lack in my life today. I would read every description, circling the ones that appealed to me, and then carefully add up the cost to see how many I could buy. I wasn’t above begging for extra money and, sometimes, that worked because my Mom loves books, too.
One of the greatest disappointments about moving to WV was that the one-room school house I was attending had no library. There was a bookcase, or two, but I had read all the books on those shelves. I don’t remember the bookmobile coming to the school but maybe it did. I do remember trips to the library where I checked out more books than I could comfortably carry. I used to dream about having a library in my house but times have changed. I now read most of my books on my iPad. I like the ease of checking out and renewing books online. I find myself passing my real books along but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to part with my children’s books. There are too many memories tied up in the books from my past.
The year I turned fifty, I found a book that I’d never read from start to finish, even though I’d had access to it for most of my life. Bits and pieces of it have been wedged into my memory, and I know stories from it by heart. Guinness World Records has it recorded as the best-selling book of all time. The book that I read from cover to cover for the first time when I was fifty was The Bible.
What surprised me the most about reading The Bible was that the sermons and Sunday School lessons I’ve heard all my life cover so little of the material in there. It was a book that continually surprised me, and while parts of it were hard to understand, other parts of it appear to be the foundation for the majority of the “sayings” that I’ve heard all my life. I was surprised that I enjoyed it so much.
I now read from The Bible every morning and I continue to find new tidbits that make me think, expressions that surprise me, and passages that provide comfort. It’s probably a few steps beyond normal, but I also find parts that make me laugh. Did you know that King Solomon thought that “a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping” and “like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion”?