Books are your best friends, or so we were taught. And indeed they are – and, undoubtedly, always will be. Good stories transport us to different places and times. Non-fiction books – histories, biographies, travelogues, natural histories – take us to realms we might not have dreamed of, at times even revealing pieces of our own past of which we have hitherto been unaware. And for those who, by choice or by necessity, listen to audio versions of books, a theatrical experience is almost at hand.
I obtain books multiple ways – as gifts, loans, purchases, and through the library. Although the Pima County Public Library has a deservedly maligned, overly vigorous “gleaning program,” it still has an abundance of books, tapes, CDs and even DVDs. And for those of us who are physically or visually impaired, there’s even “Books by Mail” – a wonderful, free service that provides library materials through the U.S. mail.
Although I have yet to meet the dedicated individuals who select my book or CD choices, they too have become my friends. They have learned my preferences and try to provide substitutes when my choices are not available. Sometimes they strike out and other times they are spectacularly successful, introducing authors previously unknown to me.
Oh yes, I know that books can now be read on ever-proliferating e-readers, but I continue to love the feel of paper and to turn the page, to relish the photographs and illustrations, and savor the design of covers, front and back.
Books are my forever friends, and through them I will continue to make new friends, both real and imagined.
(Have I told you about my Book Group? – That’s for another time…)