8 September 12 • MAV

This past weekend I had a friendly, lively discussion with some loved ones about books. The agreement to disagree revolved around the question of whether books and libraries will some day become extinct in light of new digital technology. Just writing those words makes my stomach sick so you can see what side I came down on during the discussion. We talked about electronic readers and whether we dig them or not; we talked about what we love about books; we talked about how we feel about our neighborhood libraries.

Talking about books always takes my thoughts to my mom and my dad. As you may already know, I grew up with a librarian (my dad) and an educator (my mom). As young children, if we were not at the library after school, we were hanging around my mom’s office in the high school wandering the halls or finding a desk somewhere to do homework. My brother and I grew up in a home with two dedicated working parents who not only deeply respected books and words but surrounded themselves with people who talked about books, not to mention book-inspired topics such as politics, film, religion or theatre. We grew up knowing that inspiration and information, and therefore wisdom, was found in books. We were encouraged to cultivate a special relationship with our books and to take great care of them. (I still remember how my brother couldn’t stand when the spine of his books were broken by his little sis; he would have a fit!) I can’t remember a holiday when my dad has not given books as gifts (with his standard all-caps inscription in the front) or a summer where my mom has not sat in her chair in the backyard reading. We are bonded to books and cannot see a world where they do not exist in the printed form. I thank my parents for this great gift and wanted to take a moment to honor them today, and always, for my love of books.

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In keeping with this theme, I thought I would mention a few of my favorite books of the summer. They are not new books, per se, but rather ones that have moved from my shelves to my bedside table where they spent the summer keeping me company. Thanks for taking a look and as ever, I would love to hear your favorites (email: mav{at}3191milesapart.com).

Evening by Susan Minot — I read this novel every summer.

Miffy At The Gallery by Dick Bruna– My nephews and I love the Miffy series.

The Morran Book Project curated by Camilla Engman — I really miss Morran; she is a very special dog.

Paper Foods by Yuko Yamamoto — Yuko has been a huge inspiration to me for some time. I was tickled to meet her in 2009.

Drawings From The Film Beginners by Mike Mills — This is one of my favorite films of all time so the book was a must.

Printing By Hand by Lena Corwin — I have been pouring over this book in the last months. Can’t tell you entirely why yet (you know how I love secrets) but can say that as always I am inspired by Lena’s creative energy!