B is for Bible. That’s how little Christian children learn it. Bible is simply Greek for Book, which is another excellent B word. I adore books. They spill over from every shelf and horizontal surface in my house. I can’t have enough books. And replacement with the Kindle just won’t work. It’s fine for vacations but I don’t like using it to read.
My love affair with books started early. As a very young child I collected books, buying one every Friday night at the bookstore with my allowance. I still remember the price stickers on the back covers, no bar codes.
As I got older, my books got thicker. I began to break the spines. I also ate the corners of the paper. I’d pull off a little triangle and pop it in my mouth and masticate it while my eyes raced across the page. I was a bookworm, consuming as much of the book as possible.
Later I stopped the paper eating. Not because it was gross, but simply because it was very difficult to earmark a page when all the corners had been torn off. I also stopped the binding breaking. Instead, I developed the habit of rubbing one of my middle fingers against the smooth binding. To this day, that’s my rule when I loan out a book: don’t break the binding. I rub the soft pad of my finger back and forth against the soft shiny paper of the cover while I read ferociously. My eyes still devour the book, but my physical consumption has ceased.
My 3 year old already has three box sets of books for when she’s older. Harry Potter, Little House, and Winnie the Pooh. We do read some of Winnie to her but it’s not her favorite. I keep the other two sets safe on the bookcase in my office, away from harm.