Books to the Sky

Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them

Arnold Lobel, author of Frog and Toad

I am surrounded by books all year 'round; books on the shelf, by the bed, tangled in the duvet, in the bath, on a tray, in the car, by a window in the rain and always, always, always books on a plane and in boat with a goat. In every season I am reading a stack of good books, but come summertime I fill a wagon full and grant myself wider grace to read for longer stretches of time. How, when there is so much to do? Isn't there always?

Long ago I decided to surrender to the relaxed pace of summer and step off of the merry go round. I can hear Gee tell me to let the world pass me by if it was in such an all-fired hurry. For other Geeisms, see Things My Mama Told Me.

Reading quenches my thirst like a tall glass of steeped iced tea. And oh, how I look forward to the grace of those summer months. Here they come with the sunshine, handpicked berries and grilled corn on the cob!

And I have been busy getting ready; gathering, stacking and anticipating all those edges and bindings and numbers in the corners, all that ink on the humble page and every plain and eloquent turn of a phrase.

I keep a running list of books I'd like to read: books made into movies before they hit the box office, a book I heard about on the radio, recommendations from friends or writers I admire, a new title from a favorite author and always a few classics that I am fond of or somehow I missed along the way.

Here is a stack I got for my birthday. (Thank you!)

Here is what I have found so far for this summer just poking around my local thrift store and garage sales.

And a few more beauties . . .

You can see from the bookmarks, I have already started a couple of these and one (bird by bird) I am reading again for the first time.

I don't reread books cover to cover very often, though I sometimes visit a few pages that held my heart at the time. But every once in a while I remember a particular favorite, usually a classic, that I want to visit like an old friend. I am thinking of a friendship where we catch up late into the night and I savor the sound of her voice.

Recently a friend asked for book titles for a beach trip and I remembered another one I would read again, Gift of the Sea. I recall reading it during a weary time in mothering four snickerdoodles when I was desperate for a bit of solitude and the sound of the surf. It seems I did not get to the ocean to read it, but it worked its magic on me anyway. When I searched my bookshelves, I couldn't put my hands on it. Back it goes to my booklist. I'll be patient in the search for this little book. I'd love to find a hardback copy, maybe in the color of the ocean or a shade of seashell. And this time, I'll read it at the coast.

Books to the sky!

I wonder, what books have a voice you want to hear again?