Ode to Books

I am immersed in books. At work, I help students with reading comprehension, I facilitate discussions about literature, and then I help students write about the books they’ve read. At school, I read and research and write about literature. At home, I read to my children and listen to my six-year-old as he reads aloud. When I volunteer in his classroom, I am often asked to help his classmates as they struggle through phonics readers. In the playground, I bring picture books and read to the children who want a break from more active play.

And I love it, all of it. If someone had told me when I was a kid that this would be my life when I grew up, I would have been utterly content.

After all, I was the otherwise obedient child who read under my covers at night by the dim light of my nightlight and then swiftly pretended to be asleep when my mama would come to check on me. I was the child who preferred reading to playing, to watching television, to playing video games, to practically everything. I was the child for whom books was the ultimate pleasure, a world where I could see and experience all things and all places and all times.

I’m still quite romantic about books. I still believe in the transcendent power of stories.

I also just really, really love books. I love the smell of books – the crisp smell of new paper and the musty smell of old tomes. I love how a book feels in my hand, I love the texture of the paper as I turn a page. I love the experience of curling up with a book in a comfy place. It is probably unsurprising, therefore, that as much as I embrace and often prefer the digital versions of newspapers and even magazines, I don’t like e-readers. They aren’t bad per se, but my attachment to the experience of reading actual books and to books as objects in and of themselves makes reading e-books a comparatively cold experience.

(I’m actually not a huge fan of Gertrude Stein. I think her work is fascinating and important, but it doesn’t move me. Elizabeth Gaskell’s novels have been on my reading list for a long time, but I’m determined to read them this summer. Then again, my summer reading list seems to add a few titles every other day, and Gaskell’s novels have been on the list since last summer.)

(Mostly, I picked these books because they matched my outfit!)

Sweater: vintage Philippe Adec silk and cashmere red sweater (hand-me-down from my mama)
Jacket: Marc Jacobs (old)
Shirt: J.Crew
Shorts: Q40 glam leather shorts (also worn here and here)
Tights: J.Crew
Shoes: J.Crew
Accessories: Chanel sunglasses (hand-me-down from my mama), Forever 21 headband and teal earring (worn as brooch), Herkimer diamond earrings from Principessa (gift from Yubo)
Nail Polish: essie turqoise and caicos
Lipstick: NARS Jungle Red lip liner and Red Lizard lipstick
Books: teal giraffe notebook by Florence Balducci for Anthropologie (gift), Selected Writings of Gertrude SteinThe Cranford Chronicles by Elizabeth Gaskell

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