There is no right or wrong way to do something, except when it comes to books.
I don’t remember the first time I heard my grandmother these words. But she said them often.
Mine is a family of readers. My dad was complicit in my late-night reading. When we travelled, my mom would make sure to visit local libraries and bookshops. My sister and I trade book recommendations several times a month. But for all the reading that gets done in my family, no one’s style is as precise, as particular as my grandmother’s.
Growing up, I regarded my grandma’s bookish do’s and don’ts as commandments—not advice.
As an adult, I must admit that I don’t follow all her rules. Not only do I annotate my books, I do so in myriad different colors. And while I appreciate a book’s sweet, musky scent, I am a firm believer that the world’s best invention was the ereader. But I will say this: most of her bookish rules are sound. (I even learned one of them the hard way.) Some are downright wise.
And because my grandmother is part witch, a few are even prophetic.
But of all my grandmother’s words of wisdom, this is the most precious one:
At ninety-two, my grandma repeats this one quite often. And these words bring me a great deal of comfort. After all, I spend so much time curled up with a book. It’s good to know that when I, too, am in my nineties I will look back at these moments as time well spent.