Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thankful

This is just to say that I'm thankful for books. But you already knew that. Nevertheless, since we've now entered November, the month of Thanksgiving, what better time to express my gratitude? However, instead of stating the obvious reasons why I'm grateful for books: story, humanity, poetry, imagination, education, blah, blah, blah, I thought I'd spend some time pointing out the small, yet significant, things that foster my love for reading.

I'm grateful for words. I'm not referring to an author's eloquent turn of phrase or the beauty of a metaphor or someone's enviable grasp of vocabulary, although these are all great things. I'm talking about WORDS—simple, ordinary, everyday words. Does it ever occur to you what a miracle it is that words even exist, much less the ability to string them together into coherent sentences?

I'm grateful that I still have my eyesight. Sometimes it occurs to me that this may not always be the case, either because of accident, injury, time, or age, and you know, it's kinda scary. Eyesight is really rather fragile, if you think about it. It could be gone in an instant. If you've ever seen the Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough At Last," you pretty much know my feelings on the subject.

I'm grateful that my To Read pile is always growing and always longer than I can possibly keep up with. My never-ending reading list is evidence of two important things: 1.) Books worth reading are still being written; and 2.) I still love reading. Wouldn't it be sad if you literally ran out of books to read? Yeah. But it would be even sadder if I simply stopped reading, and consequently, stopped adding to my To Read list, when there are so many books out there. As bummed and overwhelmed as I am to think that I'll probably never catch up, it's probably a good thing that I won't.

But most of all, I'm grateful for the ability to read. It may seem like a mundane, ordinary, utilitarian task at times, but not everybody can do it, you know. Reading is a talent. Did you ever think of that? I mean, did you ever consider all the things reading enables you to do? It's practically a superpower! Go ahead. Feel special. But reading is also a gift. It's a good thing you can read that stop sign or that instruction manual, that text or that e-mail. But don't waste that gift. Read a book. And be thankful.