My love of books

“What are you reading?” is a favorite question of mine. I love books. Delving into a good book is better than a bowl of ice cream, and I seriously love ice cream. My husband’s uncle is an avid book reader and we exchange titles from time to time. He is more into murder mysteries and I understand that, so do not suggest something from Liane Moriarty such as “Little Big Lies.”

For two years now, I’ve been blessed to be a part of an 11-member book club called GAB (Girls and Books). Since I’ve been involved with this little book club I’ve been reading more and have expanded my circle of acceptable books. We’ve read 23 books thus far, and at least three of our selections have been made into movies. We are pretty much busting our buttons over that.

One of our book reads, “A Man Called Ove,” by Fredrik Backman, is a movie out right now, which by the way, garnered nominations for two Academy Awards this year.

The other two are “The Girl on the Train,” by Paula Hawkins, and “Hidden Figures,” by Margot Lee Shetterly. I would not mind watching all three of these movies; the books were amazing.

I find that, since I joined this book club, my reading has taken off. I’m more intent on what I’m reading and comprehend it better. When we meet for our monthly meetings I want to appear somewhat intelligent, adding to the discussion of our current book around the dinner table. At these monthly meetings, books are introduced to peruse, and as such, I’ve got a running list of great books to read.

What I put in front of my face is censored, however. I won’t read trash, and I find distasteful words an affront to the amazing English language. There are so many incredible words a writer can use to convey his or her thoughts and to tell a story; descriptive, beautiful, edifying words. Crass or tactless words have no place in a worthy book.

Beginning each day with the Word of God gives my day structure and balance. I always have a better day when I begin it with Him, sitting down first thing in the morning with my Bible and a cup of coffee; the house quiet and the sun just waking up.

Allowing myself a time to read is like giving myself a bit of an award for a good day’s work. Looking longingly at my current book as I brush my dust rag across the lamp table, or sweep the floor or scrub the toilets, or throw a hot dish together for supper, I promise myself, later. … For sure, later, after supper and before bed, I’ll settle in with my feet up and Molly resting on the floor next to me, hubby watching one of the many great basketball games on just now. (He loves it when I get a good book. It gives his ears a rest.)

Not only do I read for pleasure, to simply relax and take me away, I read to learn and also to bolster my faith. For example, right now next to my favorite spot I have a book with a bookmark nestled in between the pages of “Resisting Happiness,” by Christian author Matthew Kelly. I am on a chapter entitled, “Are you a Pilgrim or a Tourist?” Excellent food for thought. He ended this chapter with Thomas Merton’s “A Pilgrim’s Prayer.” It goes like this:

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact, please You. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this, You will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust You always, though I may seem lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for You are ever with me, and You will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Isn’t that simply awesome?

Also, another book bookmarked is “How Reading Changed My Life,” by Anna Quindlen, one of my most favorite authors. It is one I am slowly reading, and have re-reserved it via InfoSoup. I’m pretty much maxed-out.

For now, I’m off to throw a load of clothes in the dryer, push the vacuum around the living room and as I pass by my reading-for-pleasure-book, I’ll fulfill my promise to myself …

“Later!”

(“Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.” Ephesians 4:29, The Message Bible.)

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