"My wealth is not possession but enjoyment".
Henry David Thoreau
There is something I need to tell you about myself: I have an addiction. A healthy one, but addiction. Addiction to books, specifically to fiction books. I can't tell you when it all started, but I remember my parents watching me: turning lights off and making sure I don't have a flashlight under my bed to keep reading after the light was switched off.
I also remember my dad bringing home a four volume book Le Juif Errant by Marie Joseph Eugene Sue, which I neatly placed on my night stand.
"Why did you keep all those books on your nightstand?"- my dad asked me later that day.
"I am going to read it",- was my natural respond.
"You are not going to read all of it soon, so why don't you keep one volume on your nightstand, and put the rest on the shelf?" - said my neat dad to me.
"I don't want to get up in the middle of the night, and go to another room to switch volumes",- I replied.
"Yes" - was dad's answer with an expression of a big doubt.
That time I just came to my parents home for a summer vacation, and all I wanted was to take it easy after a whole month of tests and finals. I wanted to stay away from any academic textbooks, and immerse myself into an easy reading to clear up my mind (to clean my "hard drive" as I call it).
For a whole week I hardly left my room while I was reading this fascinating story day and night. By the end of the week, on Saturday morning, I closed the fourth volume of the book, and came into the new day all refreshed and quite happy (although the book didn't end on a happy note). My dad couldn't believe it: "Have you swallowed those thousand pages?" was his rhetorical question.
When we had our morning coffee, he said: "Let me fill you in of what had happened in the last week... You definitely were in another century..." And he went on telling me all about local news.
My reading "escape" was a much needed therapeutic, healing, and mind cleaning task. But I also understood something about myself: when my hands hold a fiction book, my mind receives a "vacation" signal. Which means I am going to read a fiction book until I am through. For that reason I try to restrain myself from buying fiction books. I also keep myself away from fiction section in the library.
But last Saturday a fiction book did slip into my bag and was checked out. From it's title: Recipes and Wooden Spoons (by Judy Baer), I thought I was checking out just one more recipe book. On Sunday night I took the book out of the bag to see what recipes are there, and was surprised not to see many. Then I started to read it to find out why there were only few recipes. Oh, boy! Good thing next Monday was a day off at school and I didn't have to get up early.
Once again, I was immersed into a life of Grace Chapel Inn and a charming village of Acorn Hill in rural Pennsylvania. After I closed the book, I though: there was a reason this book slipped into my library bag. I needed a good story to read, I needed to refuel my brain, and my soul with a dose of goodness. The book made me feel really good, uplifted, joyful. My "battery" of life was once again charged.
This book made me grateful for who I am, and what I have.