My Love Affair with Books

By Samantha Di Paolo

When I was three years old, I discovered my first and forever love: books.

Everywhere I went a book would follow me. I would bring my books to family parties, on car rides, to restaurants, on play dates, and to slumber parties. They say home is where the heart is, but for me this basically meant home was where my book was.

www.hercampus.comI’m not talking “books,” the ones you can download onto a Nook or Kindle. I’m talking about books; the ones that you can feel and touch, and can write in and dog-ear pages to save places. I’m talking about the ones that become an extension of yourself, and any other book fanatic knows what I mean by that.

The way many people feel about searching for a boyfriend or girlfriend is the way I feel about finding my newest book to read. I’ll scan the aisles of the bookstore for something that catches my attention, an attraction that is completely superficial at first but makes me want to know more.

Next I read the blurb, a lot of times even before I’ll read the title. A book’s back blurb is like a person’s elevator speech; it might be the bare minimum but its laying out the basics of what the book is, or at least the parts important enough that the publishers and authors thought you might want to know before forming an opinion.

If a book still holds my interest, enough to have me read the entire back blurb, it moves on to the next round. I’ll walk around the store, looking at other books; at this point I’m still afraid to commit, but not ready to let it go. By the time I’ve exhausted the aisles, I’ll look again at the book in my hand and make the final decision; this is when I decide if the book is put down and left for the next person to find or for me to decide it’s time to take the next step, the one towards the counter.

It’s at this point the love affair begins.

The feelings that come with buying a new book are amazing, and gratifying like no other. At first you love the book for its newness; you fall in love with the excitement of meeting all the new characters, developing relationships with them and getting to know them in a way that you felt you have known no other person in your life.

You love the crisp pages, and the way that the book is clean and fresh. It’s youthful looking and the colors on the cover are vibrant and bright; the ink is a deep black.

Everything about a new book is exciting, invigorating, and mesmerizing. It becomes just too easy to forget about real life and get lost for hours in this one dreamt up by the author.

However, just like finding that book is like finding a significant other, and the excitement of a new book seems oddly familiar to the excitement of a new relationship and love affair, the best part about falling in love with a new book is having it become an old book. As the ink on the pages grow lighter, and the colors on the cover grow dimmer, the connection that you make with the book grows stronger. I’m a big believer in re-reading books just like I am with re-watching movies.

There is something you can learn each and every time you read a book. As you change – characters change, and the relationship you develop with them will change. It’s almost as if a new story is being told within the same, old pages each new time you open up to the beginning title

This is why I will never end my love affair with books; no matter how much I’m told that it might be more environmentally friendly, or cost-efficient, space-efficient, or any other type efficient, I will not give up my dog-eared pages and anticipation of leaving a bookstore with a brand new book.

You can always count on books, as a form of therapy, as an escape from your own life, to teach you lessons you may have never learned, and to help you get through difficult times by giving you something to rely on. Because, although the pages might grow thin, and the crease in the bind might start to show it’s age, the book will always say the same words and leave it up to you to interpret it as you please.

I’ll accept books and love books through it all; from young to old, from new to wrinkled, through the times they get squished in the bottom of the school bag and splashed by the pool. My first love was books, and I plan on growing old with books.

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