book love

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My teen girls and I:  sometimes, we need a good swoon.  For that, we turn to movies like the incomprehensibly lush Jane Eyre, with music by Dario Marianelli.  As we cluster on my bed, the three of us, we often dial up the film score on Grooveshark or Spotify and laugh at ourselves.  “Look at us,” I’ll say as we recap our favorite scenes and let ourselves be swept away by Marianelli’s musical imaginings.

Jane Eyre was probably the first “big girl” book I ever read, and it touched some rarefied chord in me that no other kind of reading experience had yet triggered.  You have to understand:  I . . . was . . . Jane.  When I finished the book, the world looked a little different to me, almost as if I’d traveled to someplace others hadn’t yet been to, making them less fit to appreciate the story of my adventures.  Or so I felt.

I really do believe that some books, some pieces of music, some works of art change us, almost right down to our DNA.  For that reason, I’ve been foisting books on my kids practically from the womb.  So it’s with such great pleasure that I gather my girls–my tribe, I call them–onto my bed sometimes, where we’ll listen to music, review books together, and talk about cultural events both life-changing and totally inconsequential.

The acquisition of culture is about so much more than just knowing that some dude with a fondness for starry night skies liked swirly brush strokes.  To the extent that we embrace it, culture allows us to relate to each other in ways we wouldn’t otherwise.  If it’s a swoon, for example, that brings my daughters and me together, connecting us for an hour or so on a Sunday night, let’s say, then Jane Eyre is more than the sum of its literay parts.  It’s mortar, for my relationships.  And moms and their teens:  they need that.

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Yes, I’m Guilty of Book Love

by Becky on December 13, 2012 · 2 comments

in Books, Travel

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Does the sight and smell of old books get your heart racing? You would have loved this book fair, over on La Rambla Catalunya! Antique books, rare books, even Shakespeare . . . in Spanish!

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Everyone’s got a happy trigger. For my husband, it’s a crumbling Twelfth Century castle to photograph. For my older son, it’s the waves at Huntington in the fall, when the locals have the ocean to themselves again. For my older daughter, some fabulous new vintage find from a store no one’s ever heard of. For my younger daughter, a cavernous medieval basilica in which to sing carols. And for my younger son, my Caboose, a train ride with his dad.

For me, it’s books. And these . . . oh my.

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The smell of old leather. The feel of the pages.

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Are you a bibliophile, too??

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