Giving thanks for literary blessings

By Kristen Tribe | Published Thursday, November 25, 2010

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As we gather around the Thanksgiving table this week, we’ll count the ways in which we’ve been blessed.

This year my family is especially grateful for good health, steady jobs and a place to call home. As I prepared to make pies, play with my kids and spend time with family, I was reminded of all the little things for which I am grateful, too.

This is a light-hearted look at what I’m thankful for in the literary world, or rather, my corner of it.

1. My book club.

We’ve been meeting monthly for a few years, and I’m continually surprised with how rewarding it is. Although we’ve been accused of meeting merely for a social hour of sorts, we do actually read and discuss books – good ones. And our discussions can be at once lively, even argumentative, and sometimes agreeable. We’re reorganizing for the upcoming year to freshen the format and refocus the group, and I’m looking forward to 12 more months of good books and good friends.

2. Local libraries.

I’m grateful for the efforts of local librarians and library directors to ensure Wise County residents have access to all types of information. Often, they are working with limited funds and even less space. But they’ve learned how to evaluate the needs of their respective communities and effectively manage their resources to meet those needs as best they can. If you haven’t visited your local library recently, do so. I think you’ll be surprised at what it has to offer.

3. My Texas A&M bookmark.

It’s silly, but true. A maroon, leather Texas A&M bookmark is one of my little treasures. I purchased it during my freshman year at A&M and immediately had buyer’s remorse – it cost $5. It was a steep price, but I loved it so. And still do. It can’t be recreated online or used with a Kindle. It’s a delightfully tactile object with its own story, and it makes my reading experience even more personal.

4. Rough-cut pages.

You know what I’m talking about, right? The uneven pages with edges that are well rough. I have a special edition of “To Kill a Mockingbird” with rough cut pages, and I absolutely love the texture. I guess it’s an aesthetic thing because I just like the way they look and feel. It lends an air of authenticity to a book at first glance.

5. My children’s love of reading.

I’m so grateful that my children enjoy books and are developing an appreciation for a good story. Besides being a shared interest, reading will help them better comprehend the world around them and introduce them to places and ideas that they might not have the opportunity to experience firsthand. Not to mention, it’s an enjoyable pastime. I don’t claim to know specifically how to raise “a reader.” But that’s one of my goals – to raise two.

6. A bookstore.

Any one will do. Browsing a bookstore is therapy for me in the same way that some people fish or play golf. Wise County is sorely lacking in this area, so it does require a trip across the county line. But I can spend hours perusing the shelves, the cover of each book promising a captivating tale.

7. Nancy Drew.

I have to give credit to the teenage sleuth for helping to foster my love of reading. I discovered the series at my grandma’s house, and her adventures introduced me to the fun of a good mystery. And for that, I will always be grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

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