02.27.09

My First Love

Posted in Monthly at 2:11 pm by Pasha

Every so often I forget about him.

In a haze of work, of engagement, of house hunting and of television programming, my fist love sometimes falls by the wayside. But then all it takes is a single, solitary reminder, and we pick up right where we left off. Books have never let me down and reading has always been my comfort and rock in difficult times. Reading is my first love and one that will never cease.

Our passionate relationship started when I was a little girl. I can’t remember my “Ah, hah!” book or the moment that I fell in love; I do recall which ones were tattered from my flipping, page after page, time after time.

“Snippy and Snappy,” is the namesake of the mice siblings that I remember most from being very young. I can still feel the woven texture of the mustard yellow cover under my fingertips. In the children’s book two mice wander from their home in a hayfield to a world-wide mice adventure (which was really just a big house in the county.) I read it, or maybe just pondered the pictures, almost constantly. Although I have not come across the book in a while, I can still see the illustrations of the rolling hills and feel the relief in the words of the mice when their father rescues them. I can’t help but question if “Snippy and Snappy” influenced who I grew up to be and the adventures I can’t seem to stop craving.

My obsession perpetuated as I got older. As a preteen my well-tattered book was “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” By Judy Blume. Since then I have read almost every Judy Blume book out there; she is one of my all-time greatest heroes. I must have read about Margaret’s life a zillion times. The thin, young adult, fiction novel was my bible of adolescence. I believed that Margaret, while a little naive, related most closely to my feelings of apprehension and adolescence. I recently passed the dog-eared book down to my 10-year-old niece. She promised to keep it well-read and in working condition for my own daughter some day.

And that’s one of the many beauties of books: they don’t break, they don’t run out of batteries, you don’t need electricity or money to read them. Literacy should always be the number one priority in education. Through books we can learn just about anything.

After Margaret, I moved onto “The Babysitters Club” series of books. My eyes and mind raced through the, then more modern, books. I burned through them, one after another, page after page. The girls taught me about responsibility, about being accountable, and the importance of working with ethics and pride. Sure, they were just fictional characters but to me they were role-models.

I moved onto the “Sweet Valley High” series soon after. The girls were much more grown up and got me caught up in their web of friends, boyfriends, high school and being an older teen. I am not sure if the influence of the spoiled 16-year-old girls was exactly healthy for me, especially at 13. But I couldn’t put the books down. Page after page, book after book; I did not stop, slow, or put the books down until I had flown through the entire series.

Through high school, college, and all my days since, my fist love has followed me. Sometimes our affair is stronger and other times I nearly forget him. Reading and books seem to find me in my darkest hour. I was always able to escape fights and parties on their upper level of my home by entering the pages of a book. The words have always pulled me in enough to block out whatever chaos was happening. Then and now, a good book will keep me up all night long, turning the pages, waiting on the resolve.

My first love found and pursued me avidly when I lived abroad. We didn’t have cable (the books arch rival) and we didn’t have money. But libraries let us borrow and so I was never bored, never without entertainment. I lived another life in England and Central America, a life lead by my first love.

Back in the states I still loved him; but somewhere in work, in love, and in life, I left my books behind. They sat on the shelf for months, being pushed aside by the Sunday newspaper and subscriptions to Fitness and Glamour. But a couple of weeks ago we got back together and this time I am never letting go.

The Twilight series reigned me back in. I had been reading in Chicago, but not like this, not like the old days. Then and now, I am devouring thousands of pages a week, staying up until four a.m. with a book instead of mindless programs. My love for reading will never die or change. I can always lose Pasha in a good novel, learn Pasha from the eyes of another person’s stories, and always have books be there for me. For my first love, for books and for the skill to read, I am forever grateful.