I was wondering about reason why reading, buying and talking about books, bring me such a happiness… I was trying to remember, if I have some sweet childhood memories, which have started my love for books, but there are non. Well, I have some, but not AHA! kind of memories.
I grew up in Baltic state and during the Soviet times, you just couldn’t walk into the store and buy the book, (awful, right?), my parents had to order them from the local office, not sure if it was Post Office or other. There were libraries, but not bookshops. I know my mum was excited about one book, she ordered it in advance, and waited 6 months for it to arrive, well the book arrived, but someone else, bribed the person in the office and got it first… My mum never got this book… But my parents managed to build impressive collection of Classics, I believe it was over 50 books, at the time it was unheard of, at least not in the small village where we lived. Every book they got, was precious for them, and treated as a treasure. All books were displayed, with care, in the glass cabinet, alongside precious family crystal. However, I do not remember seeing my mum read, she was always busy with house chores. At the time you also could not buy nappies/ diapers, so all the babies were raised in flannel swaddles. (You actually had to queue for hours to buy couple of square meters and there was limit on how many you could buy.) So, I remember my mum cook, clean, sew, farm, garden, bake, but never read… I asked her once did she actually ever read, and she said she did (maybe at night, when kids slept…) she told, that she loved poems and mythology. Of course, at the time it was strictly regulated, what kind of books were available, erotica or even slightly sexual books were prohibited. All these memories and understanding of how people were controlled, fill me with sadness. My grandmother shared the memory once, of watching confiscated books been burned, during military invasion, and this memory will live with her till her last breath… How? Why? Those are my questions, but the soldiers were given an order, to confiscate weapons and the books. And to arrest those who don’t comply…
One of my most favourite book memories are of modern times, years after Baltic States gained independence and things started to appear in the shops, (you know bananas, white chocolate, books, nappies, cassettes, condoms…), so one day my mom got a catalogue, where she could order fairytales for girls. When the books arrived, by God, they were the most beautiful things I have ever seen! Cinderella, Snow White, Pocahontas. The illustrations were amazing and the cover shiny and absolutely gorgeous. I loved those books and read them hundred times…
Books were always my escapism, whatever bad happened in my life, either I was sick or sad, I always found happiness between pages.
So back to 2018. I have my own collection of books now, and either I am so motivated to have them, because I admired my parents books, or just because I find escapism in those fictional stories, I am not sure, but maybe it doesn’t even matter any more. I love books, I read with my kids and encourage them to enjoy reading too. I know for sure that my kids see me read so often, they may even want to write it on my headstone when I die-
“She read. She turned pages.”
I am building my non-fiction collection and trying to read more educational material, but I am Romance girl… and if I see naked, half-naked or beautiful people in embrace on the cover- I must have that book!
Yes, unapologetically, I judge the book by the cover… Aren’t they just beautiful…
I have just handful true stories in my collection, but I had to by “In the name of the father”…
So, yes, very special purchase this time, from the The Book Shop, all books pre- loved, but in good condition, at the small price of only €2 per book, and free delivery within Ireland if you spend €20, how cool is that?
Oh, almost forgot… I already finished Hidden in the Sheikh’s Harem, by Michelle Conder, and it was excellent! Romantic and passionate novel, that I truly enjoyed!
That’s it for today, friends. Talk soon. If you want to share your stories on book loving and childhood memories, drop a comment below.