My children like to remind me that I am old, despite friends and those of a similar age vehemently advocating for the 40s being the new 20s.
It seems that I am the fence sitting generation. My peers and I have one foot in the past, so to speak, and one that tries to keep up with today’s world. Some of ‘my kind’ have easily and happily transitioned into the future; I, however, keep sliding into the past.
A much loved activity in our household that brings the kids together happens while watching me bumble through some ‘new’ feature on my phone or an attempt to get something to work on our Smart TV. Although wonderful to see my kids bond, I quickly like to retort that it is quite fine to laugh at mum, but I taught them to use a spoon!
Another bonding activity in our home is reading, and when I say reading, I mean from a physical book. Yes, a real live book one holds in their hands! So I let them laugh at my comedic antics but they must take a page from my childhood too.
All our kids read off of some device or another, but they also enjoy a good book. It is not unusual to see a child strewn across a chair or a bed or sitting at their desk with a book in hand. We are lucky in that they all love to read and write, which we are certain comes from reinforced quiet times, where reading is the only activity allowed.
A Paperback: An Endangered Species
Although I do not have any hard evidence, I fear that my beloved, hand-held book is an endangered species. I have fond childhood memories of going with my Dad to the university or downtown library, spending hours in the stacks, surrounded by the thoughts and words of thousands of others.
Perhaps the exception and not the norm, a strong possibility, however my life has always been surrounded by books. Closets, bookcases, any empty space, books.
True, libraries still exist yet it seems they are attempting to transform into a recreational centre type space, with a ton of books. No one shushes unruly kids, in fact some parents seemingly disappear until time to pack up.
Many communities are building complexes, with ice rinks, small restaurants, and a library in them. Now don’t get me wrong, I am glad that people are still going to the library, and if the way to keep them alive is through yoga classes and a romper room type atmosphere, well, for now I guess it is better than the alternative.
A Magical Discovery: The Write Bookshop
My partner and I were out the other day and visited The Write Bookshop (sweet name write! Yes, I know, wrong right..lol!), an amazing shop in downtown St. Catharines, Ontario. Like the closet in Narnia, one step through the door and we were in another time, a familiar and lovely time.
Much like any spare space in my parents home (either in the 1980s or today) there were books everywhere. And I mean everywhere! In boxes, stacked on shelves, some stacked in front of others, a sweet treasure hunt for lovers of the written word.
There is magic inside the covers of a real, physical book; brand new or previously loved. I knew my partner was a keeper with the discovery of our mutual love for books; especially the world of a used book shop.
I am not sure how long we spent in The Write Bookshop, but as with every visit, there were tears when it came time to depart, forced to decide which of the half dozen or so books we had “oooooohh”’d when seen, we could buy and those to be left behind.
Often, I worry about the survival of such a shop, that the magic and beauty will soon be lost. I encourage everyone to give a used book shop a try. Every genre is represented so no excuses;there is something for everyone. We even found some comics, vowing to return, to see them again and bring some home with us.
So, my dear Nation, please give books a chance, real books. You may find once one sits in your hand, you won’t ever want to put it down.
Do you have a favourite bookshop? Or stacks and stacks of books? Tell us about it!
P.S. A giggle for you!