Monday, January 31, 2011

Food for thought

I volunteered this weekend at London's Run. This is a 1/2 mile, 10 k, 2 mile fun run event held every year in Queen Creek in remembrance of a young lady named London to benefit children with cancer. It is a really phenomenal event put on by a fantastic family.

The last three years I have worked in the Runner's Food tent. We sit at the end of the race with bananas, apples, oranges, bagels and power aid for the runners to refuel. It's a cool experience to be one of the first people to interact with a runner following a race. They are grateful, kind and energized by having accomplished their goal. It is hard to explain the spirit and energy they bring to the tent. It is warm and strong.

It was energizing to be with such a large group of people all participating in what we all knew was a good cause. The positive energy was tangible.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Kindling to read by....

I’m raising the flag. You there, do you feel the need for a riot? Maybe a revolution? Too much? Okay how about a peaceful sit in where we quietly read. But we read real books the ones with pages and binding!! Random cause you say? Let me build my case here, let’s start at the very beginning, I hear it’s a very good place to start.

Maybe six months ago, GPJ (my fellow reader) sends me an article that B&N (Barnes & Noble) is investing almost all their money into their own reading machine because they want a piece of the kindle pie and I’m paraphrasing but something like, “they don’t see future money in selling books.” SAY WHAT? Who to the Nazis? I’m sorry B&N you think books are suddenly going to vanish? Oh, no you didn’t. Needless to say we got heated and did was any 20 somethings do, we started a facebook page, that we joined and updated twice and then nothing happened.

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” Harper Lee

And then for the next three months I went into crazy hyper drive and I got all Fahrenheit 451 and started hoarding books. In my mind we are 20 years from burning books and I need to start memorizing whole sections of the bible. Also I start secretly cursing everyone with Kindles. Josh becomes project number one. If I can convince my techie hubby to delete the Kindle app, I’m on a roll! So first I offer to buy every book he is reading on it. Which I did and subsequently I think he stopped reading on it, but probably really only in my presence. See, I caught him at a B&N fondling their reading machine and I actually hissed like an angry feline. Yes, this is the moment I had a bit of an intervention with myself, self you need to simmer! I could love books and keep a growing library, if the rest of the world wanted to become illiterate and rely on technology for their wisdom it was their grave. Yes I’m that self righteous sometimes. So I shelved it through the holidays, I had Christmas blogging to do.

But I can be passive aggressive no longer! Have you seen this stupid commercial?? Watch….

The obvious statement here is if she’d just bought the blasted BOOK none of that would matter!! Spooky voice: Pay no attention to the printed book behind the curtain. Charles W Eliot says, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”

Yes, I understand it’s still a book if it’s on a Kindle. Contextually it is. But part of what’s great about reading a book is the smell of the pages, the weight of it in your hands and flipping actual pages. The object of binding and paper becomes as integral to the story as the plot. You begin fretting as you see the weight of those pages move from one side to the other as you near the end of a great story, knowing you’ll miss the new friends you’ve made, wondering if in thirty pages it will all work out. You can’t get that on a computer, even if they simulate page flipping.

“A book reads the better which is our own, and has been so long known to us, that we know the topography of its blots and dog’s ears and can trace the dirt in it to having read it at tea with buttered muffins.” Charles Lamb

It’s a new year. I’m rededicating myself to my two fan facebook page and to reminding people what a joy reading an actual physical book is. Yes my purse may be heavier because I’m hauling around an actual copy of Atlas Shrugged and I may get an occasional paper cut, but I will continue to do it. Simply so I can learn the topography of my book and trace the dirt in its pages as I follow the authors adventure.