Books have been a big part of my life as far back as I can remember.
Growing up our family library had quite an assortment of quality books that were read and reread over and over.
The small library in our school contained more books that we loved. It was always a day of mixed emotions when the Amish schools did a book swap. We were thrilled to have new reading material, but sad to see some of our favorites go. The one year several of us plotted a way to keep our favorite book from getting traded, but that's a story for another day.
During the late fall, winter, and early spring months my parents would visit the library and bring home armloads of books for us to read, and for several years the bookmobile made a monthly stop at our house and we would all get to choose books we wanted to read.
I was a substitute teacher before LV and I got married. Since all money before we reached the age of 21 was handed to our parents, I never got to keep any of it. I guess my parents felt I deserved a little something from all that work I had done and offered that I can buy some books if I want to. I became the happy owner of the Anne of Green Gables series that year.
I used to pore over book catalogs we got in the mail and dream of how wonderful it would be to be able to have them all. The thought of being able to visit an actual bookstore was a dream I hoped would someday become true.
After LV and I got married I was happy to be surrounded by a whole lot of books I had never read before. His family had a lot of books that my family didn't read. Books by Lewis B. Miller, Grace Livingston Hill, mysteries, and the list kept going on and on. It was great and I was in book bliss.
That first year LV and I started building our family library. We found books at the local Amish stores, and then one day when we went to town we stopped at a real bookstore. It was almost overwhelming with all the options I was suddenly presented with.
We ended up buying an armload of books, among them was one by Fern Michaels. The cover was pretty, I liked her name, and the little blurb on the back sounded interesting.
That night I settled in to read it and my little book world came crashing down. It was an awful book, peppered with foul language. Even without that language the story itself was horrible, and I realized that books must be selected with care, that just because it's a book does not mean it's fit to read. It got burned, and while I was disappointed that not all books have a chance making it to our family library we never lost our love of reading, and year by year our library has kept growing with carefully selected books.