Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Love Affair with Books

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.” 
- Charles William Eliot

Do you like reading?

I do. Very much.

My love affair with books began when I was a little girl.  As hard as it is to believe, back then we didn't have computers or internet. My favourite pass time was grabbing few apples, lying on my bed and reading.

One of the first books that made an impression on me, that I can remember, was Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. I must have read it a million times.  Oh, how much I wanted to be on that island!  Ever since I read that book, my secret desire was to once find myself on inhabited land. I guess my introvert qualities were speaking to me back then and I didn't even know it.

Good books were not easy to come by in communist Poland. My dad had special connections at the local bookstore and every once in a while he was able to score me a great book or two. Many other adventure books followed Robinson Crusoe, names of which I don't even remember but the stories are still deeply engraved in my mind. The more he brought, the more I read, my imagination running wild with images of heroes and heroines on distant indigenous lands. I remember I made a promise to myself to visit Australia at least once in my life time. I still haven't done that.

Today I still read as much as I can. I have bookcases filled with books both fiction and non fiction. At any one time I have couple of books on the go.  If I could have a choice of my own little room it would be a room with bed on one side, computer desk at a window wall and a third wall full of bookcases filled with books. I can already imagine this room in my head and it's beautiful.

This brings me to digital books.

How do you feel about them? Can you read books on the tablet and enjoy it?

There are so many books I want to read. I know I can't buy them all and some of them I can't find in the library. There are tons of digital books available online for free these days so a little while ago I decided to give them a try to conserve the wallet and the library space.

I found something amazing.  While I'm able to read digital non fiction, I can't say the same about novels.  I just cannot get into them when they are in digital format.  I don't know what it is but a good story has to come to me through pages of the physical book.  Any time I find a PDF copy of a novel I like, I have to print it out in order to fully enjoy it.

I guess for me there is really nothing like a physical copy of the book.  It's reminiscent of a magical portal that takes my soul into a different dimension where the story takes place.  Tablet or smart phone simply cannot do that.  I find that ironic because it's the non fiction that I would like to have physical copies of, and novels that I would like to be able to enjoy digitally.  I guess it's not meant to be.

I'm happy to say that my love for books and reading has blossomed and proliferated into some of my children.  I'm deeply grateful for that.  It makes me smile and my heart fills with joy when I see one of my younglings with her nose deeply buried in a good book.

Charles William Eliot's quote at the start of this post is one of my favourites.  Books really are our most loyal friends, wisest counsellors and most patient of teachers.  I want to walk the rest of my life with them and I hope my children will too.


  1. Great post and I could relate to a lot of what you were saying. I also have a deep love for books. I've tried reading books on the smaller screen, too, but you're right, it's just not the same. I spent a lot of time at the library when I was a child and I still go every couple of weeks to get more books and renew what I haven't finished reading yet.

    I didn't know you were from Poland. I like learning more about my blogging friends. It helps me to get to know them a little better. Years ago, I wanted to leave the United States and move to England, but I chickened out. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I actually had relocated.

    1. Thank you Dee!! I love libraries. They have special atmosphere unlike any other place I can think of. I guess it must be all the books plus their relative age and the energies of all the people handling them over the years... You don't get that in the bookstore. :)