TOME: A volume forming part of a larger work; book
~ Merriam-Webster ~
I have been working on small parts of larger works, tiny tomes created to mimic antique books for some new jewelry designs. Books have always played a large part of my life. I was an early and avid reader as a child. Books were my friends and means of travel, escape, and doorway to knowledge. As an only child they were often my companions.
As a child I played "library". On most Saturdays I would set up my "library" in our formal dining room using the big lace covered dining table as my desk. My mother indulged me by letting me remove items from a shelf or two of her whatnot cabinet and fill them with my books. I created library cards for the neighborhood children and our rarely used front door became my grand library entrance. I would sit on a stack of large books piled up in a chair so I would appear more adult and invite the children in the check out books.
My mother would often take a break from her Saturday cleaning and read a story to the group. Now, my mother was not and is not an animated type of person, she is pretty no nonsense, but you put a book in her hand and as she began to read aloud a transformation took place. She would relax and the best part was that she did the "voices" of the characters. One of the begged for neighborhood favorites was The Tales of Uncle Remus. Being from the South and growing up in rural farm community which boasts a twang and language all its own, she would lapse back into her native dialect, it was both enchanting and fascinating to hear.
My mother read to me every night of my childhood. I often lay in bed staring at her lips as they formed the words and listened to her voice lift and lilt with expression and feeling. She never tired of reading and I could beg and beg for another book and she kept going until I fell asleep. I think we both sort of missed those times of reading aloud when I grew older. We still read together in the same space only quietly and separately pursuing our own tastes in tomes.
She was the first one to foster my love of words and reading. She was the one who influenced and introduced me to the magic of moving through worlds unknown, places of imagination, and she gave me the gift of books.
I am hoping to foster that same gift to a few of those on my gift giving list this year with a custom jewelry piece inspired by books and the library as well as nice hardbound volume that will take them on a magical journey of words.
What is your all time favorite book and/or book related memory?