Christmas is busy, but it’s also a time for being cozy and forgetting all about regular stuff—and just curling up with a good story. Maybe it’s with a book from under the tree. Sure, that present was easy to guess, but unlike other gifts, it contains within it a whole world.
The first thing I remember ever wishing for, ever really really wanting, was a book. I didn’t have any specific book in mind, I just wanted one of my own, one of those magical things. My little bookish heart wished and wished. Our home didn’t have a lot of books and, as is usual in a family of nine people, they were mostly shared. The first book that was incontrovertibly mine—because I had won it in a Sunday School memorization contest—was Judy Began It by Ellen Elliott. It had a red cover with a little terrier dog on it. That was Judy. She discovered a mysterious note that plunged her and her four children into a mystery. The story was above my age, but I struggled through to the end. That was my first experience of sticking with a text even though I didn’t understand it well, and having it raise me to another level. Just one of so many wonderful things a book can do!
The first thing I ever prayed for very fervently was a book. That prayer was answered, and I received for Christmas a bible of my own: filmy pages with a few thicker ones where a picture was inserted, and a white leather zip-shut cover. A special little book and a prized belonging. Later, I won a copy of Little Women for having top marks in grade four, sending me into the summer holidays with hours of enchantment. I read that story every summer after, well into adulthood, until the book disintegrated from use. Well, that can happen to bookworms . . .
So, like every year since Judy Began It for me, this one has been punctuated and becharmed with books. Here are just a few memorable reads:
So, it’s Christmas. The tortière is baking and making everything smell delicious, and I’m curling up with my last couple of books for 2019. And next year is only a week away—let the 2020 books begin!
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