What kind of a reader are you? An e-reader? Do you listen to books? Or is there something about being able to hold something tangible, flipping the pages as you go. I love audiobooks. I love e-readers. Such smart ideas and perfect for traveling! But there is no replacing my first love- being able to hold the book in my hands, smell the pages, using my favorite bookmarks to hold my place and highlighting and writing as I go. Yes, its true you can also do that with e-readers, but its just not the same for me.
There are some people who love their books so much they’re afraid to crack it open and break the spine. No dog-eared pages, pristine pages with no notes, underlined quotes or highlighted sections. I personally don’t see how you can fully appreciate the book that way. Now, I’m not encouraging anyone to go out and throw their books in the mud or anything like that. But, why not have a conversation with the book? Show it some love, show it how much you appreciate it – what you like, don’t like, how you feel when your favorite character does something or says something that resonates with you. Or leave yourself some notes for the next time you read it (if you’re a rereader). *Disclaimer: I do not encourage this with library or borrowed books. Any book that is you own, go ahead!*
I feel like I get so much out of the book when I do this, and I get to appreciate it, and myself so much more. By the way, its also a lot of fun when you go back and reread some of your notes from the last time you read the book. Then leave new ones and see how differently it affects you this time around. Maybe I’m a nerd, but I really get excited about this. The books in the used book store that look like they’ve been read time and time again, that have been dog-eared, that may even have a few little notes in it for me- those are the ones that I want to read. They speak to me, and tell me stories beyond the words on the pages from the author.
I’m reading Life is a Verb by Patty Digh right now. Its nonfiction but an awesome book about enjoying the simple things and life and living each day to the fullest. Patty Digh is down to earth and the way she writes feels like you’re sitting in her living room having a conversation. I’ll get to the point, I did not mean to turn this into a book review but let me just say Patty’s books are really very good. But she has also intentionally designed her books with TONS of room in the margins especially for you, dear readers! She makes her books so beautifully attractive and inviting for the readers to join her in the conversation in her living room as you are reading the book. It’s brilliant, and I haven’t seen many others like it!
Do you write in your Bible? Do you highlight or underline your favorite scriptures? Do you have birthdates and wedding anniversaries written in the front? Is it a gift from someone special? Have they left you a little note inside the cover? Do you use your colored pencils and draw a little heart around 1 Corinthians 13:4-7? And each time you read a passage, you see or understand something different each time. As you’re reading the Bible, you’re having a conversation with yourself, but also with God and learning more about Him and more about yourself. It’s a beautiful thing, and when I’m reading and making notes in other books as I read them, I am doing the exact same thing.