My Mother taught me to love reading.  She spent most of her free time with her nose in a book.  She went to the library at least once a week.  I spent a lot of time in libraries as a kid.  Mom always had stacks of books beside her chair.

One of her favorite libraries was the Town of Gates library.  It was fairly small, and it always seemed to have a lot of what she was looking for.  They had a lot of new books there, and she always went home with at least ten or more.  She was an avid reader, and she passed that love of books along to me.

It’s interesting that when we looked at houses back in 1993, one of the areas we zeroed in on was Gates.  I had so many good memories of the library and visiting the town so often with my Mom that it seemed a logical place to look (and to settle).

Gates recently moved the library to a brand new location.  I wonder what my Mom would think of the new place.  I suspect she would not care for it.  She would say it was “too big” – the way she always complained about the larger Wegmans locations (“too much walking”) and continued to shop at Bells or Big M.

My Dad was a printer.  He always came home with ink on his hands and the smell of ink on his work clothes.  Sometimes on the way home from work, we delivered what the small print shop he worked for had printed that day.  They did a lot of church bulletins, and we often dropped off cartons of printed materials at various churches along the way.  My brother also became a printer (much to Dad’s dismay).  In doing the genealogy research, I found that my great Uncle Leo (Grandma Ford’s brother) was also a printer. I guess it runs in the family.

Heidelberg press from the 1950s

My passion for books is an odd one.  I love what’s written in them, but I also love how they feel and how they smell.  I have figured out that it’s the ink on the page that reminds me of my father.  I collect books and have an embarrassing amount of them stacked around the house.  I have struggled to get used to e-books, but it’s been difficult.  They just aren’t the same for me. There is something lacking.

Reading takes me away from the problems in the world. A good book should be an escape and a joy to read.  When I am reading, I want to be taken to a different place and time, and I will read anything as long as it has a happy ending.  I don’t enjoy books that make me cry or books that are disturbing in their nature. I have too much stress in my day-to-day, and there’s too much sadness in the world already. I don’t need to wallow in it.

“A good book is the best of friends,
the same to-day and for ever.” – 
Martin Farquhar Tupper (1810-1889)

“All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality — the story of escape. 
It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape.”
 – Arthur Christopher Benson