The Companionship of Books

Reading books is one of our favorite pursuits in our house.  I feel I can handle the most challenging day as long as I know that I can retreat at the end of the day to a cozy chair or my bed with a book.  Currently, I have four books on my bedside table and each night I choose the one that fits my mood.  The books are The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan; State of Wonder by Ann Patchett; Beatrix Potter by Linda Lear; and one of Natalie’s best-loved books: Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery.

Natalie took one of her favorite books on a recent overnight school trip not only to read on the long bus ride, but also to tuck into her sleeping bag like a good friend at bedtime.   Next to her bed are three books she’s reading:  Habibi by Naomi Shihab-Nye, A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich; and one of my favorite’s, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King.

So, you will understand why I loved this story:  When Benjamin Franklin was dining in Paris, one of the other diners posted the question:  “What condition of man most deserves pity?”  Each guest proposed an example of such a pitiable condition.  When Franklin’s turn came, he offered:  “A lonesome man on a rainy day who does not know how to read.”


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