Welcome, Readers – Let’s Get to Know Each Other
Books have been my trusted friends for as long as I can remember. In books I can let myself go, confident that I’ll come out the last page slightly changed but the better for it in some way. I am well past the point when I “have to” read anything, so if I find myself in poor company within the pages of a book, I put it down and choose something else to read. There are always stacks or lists or “old friend” titles at hand, eager for my company.
Treating human companions that way is not so simple, is it? On the “About” page I indicated I rarely lack for words or ideas, and school was not a struggle for me. Social situations, on the other hand… well, let’s just say that’s not my strongest comfort zone. For years I kept a Snoopy poster on my wall that said, “I love humanity, it’s people I can’t stand.” In my case, that would have been better stated, “I love humanity, but people make me nervous.”
Of course that was in the days before customized poster making, and nothing ever made Snoopy nervous anyway. I should be so lucky. I’m truly not a loner; I crave interactions, conversations, discussions and even debates. But a voice in my head is always second-guessing that I’ve said too much, or the wrong thing.
This is the best of both worlds. I can interact with humans (thanks for being here!) through the printed word. That allows me time to filter my thoughts and reread, to be certain that I’m not putting my foot in my mouth. Or, if it ends up in there anyway, I can look back to see how I managed to do so. It’s much more casual and spontaneous than writing a book, much closer to writing letters to friends and family. (There’s a post coming about that soon.)
I’m an advocate of sharing books with kids from birth onward. Reading aloud picture books conjures an image of an adult with a child snuggled close, all four of their hands holding the covers of an open book. I see established readers cradling a book in much the same way, as if reaching out to hold hands with the author, to share and absorb the ideas that were so thoughtfully created for that book. (I suspect that is a large part of why I can’t warm up to eReaders, it messes with my lifelong metaphor!)
It is thrilling (truly, thrilling) to have anything published, but especially a book. It reaches out into the real world, traveling who knows where, not unlike launching a message in a bottle.
But this blog offers something more. It opens a door to conversations and feedback. In that sense I hope you’ll consider adding comments, responding to what I’ve shared, telling me about yourselves, or asking questions. I’ll ask some myself, at times, and if I hear nothing back it will really feel lonely on my side of the keyboard.
It’s your turn now. Will you reach out, too? Is anyone out there?