People say life is the thing, but I prefer reading. ~ Logan Pearsall Smith (1931)
My last blog post mentioned reading books in a cave by candlelight. Forget all this high tech communication stuff!
I just love reading books. I can think of no greater pleasure than whiling my time away in a different place and time, if only in my mind. I can marvel at historical accounts from centuries ago, and I can wonder about so many things while reading a good book. Some of the things I discover are priceless, and others are just totally fun. My imagination takes me on a journey each time I open the cover.
My family knows me well, and for Christmas I got several interesting (non-fiction) ones, and then for my birthday shortly afterwards, here came another set, in a mix of genres.
Whether waiting for hours to renew my driver’s license, sitting at the doctor’s office or flying on a plane, my go-to activity is to stick my nose in an interesting book. It’s actually something I look forward to (waiting), because it gives me a good excuse to indulge in my favorite thing to do.
I seldom take the time to do this while at home. For some reason, it makes me feel a little guilty for not doing something more important. I need to fix that.
Forget Kindles or Nooks or whatever the techno-flavor gadget of the month is, I like book books. Favorites are kept, others are passed along or re-sold. Our old, historic books are some of our greatest treasures.
I’ll never let go of the Oz books that belonged to my mother in law. When Shannon was a little girl, we read each one together. There was a lot more going on in Oz than a girl named Dorothy dropping into Munchkinland!
Yes, they are somewhat fragile, so they are more on display that looked at, but that doesn’t lessen their call to me. The stories they tell are a legacy to the next generation, and they need to be preserved and cherished.
My favorite? It’s the set of five volumes of “A History of Texas and Texans” by Frank W. Johnson (a leader in the Texas Revolution), published in 1914. They belonged to my great grandfather, who is featured in one article about the trail drivers of the 19th century. My dad treasured these books, as do I.
So just last week, I opened Volume V. And what did I discover? A photo of my great, great uncle, Louis Oge! (pronounced O-Zhay) Born in 1832 in Alsace-Lorraine, his home in the King William District of San Antonio is now an amazing bed and breakfast inn (on Washington St.). I knew about him from my great grandfather’s memoirs (his mom was Louis’ sister), but had never seen a photo of him! And right here is an extensive article about him.
I can’t believe I just opened the book to this exact page! What an amazing coincidence. And what a treasure I have right there on the shelves in the living room… all these wonderful books that have been cherished through the generations and will continue to be so, even if I end up living in a cave, reading by candlelight.
Pewperson will return on Feb. 10