Wednesday – On the Shelf

When I started thinking what I wanted this new blog to be I decided that I definitely wanted to have regular posting ‘themes’. Although I certainly enjoyed just posting whatever came to mind when I first started blogging, I really want Thoroughly Nourished Life to have a more regular presence. I want to be able to be a little more prepared, to have something to set myself to think about, or an already established avenue for writing about something that has come to mind.

With all that in my head I have decided that Wednesdays will be ‘On the Shelf’ day. Each week this post will share something book or word related. At the moment I am taking a class on issues in contemporary publishing (yes, on a Wednesday night) and I always leave feeling inspired to write something about the state of the bookly world.

Tonight, for the inaugural ‘On the Shelf’ post I offer a small essay on why in my world ‘words = love’.

Fully stacked bookshelves in a second hand bookstore

My heart's home.

I am a word addict.

Yes, hello my name is Amy and I am addicted to words.

I want to constantly consume them, be ever surrounded by them.
I want to be coated in words like that last peanut in the very corner of the packet that gathers with all the salt granules.

They feed me, my soul would wither without their healing, nourishing, sustaining power.

When the world seems bleak they bring their sunshine or an umbrella.

When disaster strikes I seek their solace and counsel.

I am never bored, for the merest hint of text and context can keep me entertained.

I fall asleep in the curve of a ‘C’.

And wake up falling down the slippery dip of an ‘S’.

I want to walk through my days holding the hands of a friendly ‘F’ and an entertaining ‘E’.

I am the girl who caresses covers and lovingly admires a book with every sense.

A touch for the cover, the pages.

The scent. New – where you can smell the printer’s ink still on the page. Old – catching a whiff of the lives this book has been part of.

Taste. What new recipes, what exotic treats, what form of sweetness will this book inspire in my mind.

Sight. Are you sharp with new edges, or crinkled at the spine. Is the text bold and new age, or so embellished that the book needs no other artwork.

Sound. Do you thud closed, or merely elicit a whisper as your pages open and shut.

I have a history with words. I was soothed with lullabies as a tiny baby, in English and in Danish.

My Dad would even make up songs to sing my sister and I to sleep, and let us crawl into his and Mum’s big bed so he could read and snuggle with us.

My Mum is the checker of assignments, the muse to a thousand stories and songs. The listener to many grand plans and myriad tiny plot changes.

She took my sister and I to countless children’s library days, reading groups, second hand bookstores and other places where words live and lurk.

My favourite way to spend time with my Mum is still going to the second hand bookstore. It is our Saturday morning tradition.

As we grew, my sister and I devoured books even more rapidly than we devoured m&ms and salted liquorice. We still do.

Yummy, indeed.

We give each other piles of books for Christmas, and birthdays, and every celebration in between.

Between the pages, in the midst of the lines, we find adventure though we never have to leave our armchairs.

We find knowledge and answers. And questions, always more questions, that lead to another book, another story, another place.

We understand the power that words wield.

The way my Mum and sister become so encapsulated in the world of the author that only a fog horn can get their attention.

The many, many sleepless nights my Dad has had because he can never put a book down once he starts.

The way my books are treated like precious children and I can never bear to part with any of them.

We are readers, listeners, talkers, texters, emailers, note leavers.

We are a family of many words. Some spoken, many written.

Nearly all of them out of love.

So yes, my name is Amy and I am a word addict.

Because words, in my mind, are synonymous with love.

4 thoughts on “Wednesday – On the Shelf

  1. this is BEAUTIFUL Amy! I love it…and can relate in many ways. I love when I can read something and totally fall into the words…become so caught up in the story they are telling that time seems to stand still and I enter the world of whatever I am reading. Its such a safe and peaceful feeling 🙂

  2. wat a wonderful poem…i honestly have nothing really more to add, u soaked up all the words this Wednesday and perfectly aligned them in every way. 🙂 u have such a gift of weaving and stringing our language together…thanks for sharing. i also think it’s great that u’re going to have themes for each post…looking forward to the next ones! 🙂

  3. As usual you bring me to my knees with your thoughts and “words”, I am honoured that your Dad and I have had such an impact on your life. You do us both proud in the way you so generously share our love of the written, spoken and vocalisation of words. Love Mum xoxox

  4. Pingback: Reading, and Writing, and Me – oh my! | Thoroughly Nourished Life

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