We all have them. Something that, when we hold it or see it, comforts us and makes us happy. So long as that item or entity is still intact and there, unchangeable, all is right in our worlds. I have a lengthy list of such articles. A cup of tea, my fuzzy warm blankets, my fuzzy warm cat, a ball of yarn, my dream, and certain books from the library.
These books are extremely diverse. Their attraction comes in part from their covers, the memories of when and how I discovered them, and the words and stories within.
“The Joy of Spinning,” by Marilyn Kluger, tells the tale of how Marilyn discovered the charm of spinning as a young child, and how later in life re-discovered the passion and embarked upon a journey to find her own spinning wheels and learn to spin. The latter half of the book is all practical, and teaches the reader the woollen and worsted methods of spinning, the long- and short-draw techniques, and how to harvest and use plant dyes.
“Sea Room,” by Adam Nicolson, is an absolutely riveting work about the man who owns the Shiant Islands in the Hebrides. Now, if the words ‘islands’, and ‘Hebrides’, don’t get your blood roiling and your spirits soaring, then you won’t like this book. It’s an anthropological, botanical, historical, ornithological, etymological, political, and geological marvel of a book that sweeps the reader right across the ocean and onto that expansive getaway. See? I’m excited just writing about it…
The last on this very short list is “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” a recent acquisition to my collection of happy books. The true story of a Polish couple who housed several hundred Jewish refugees within their zoo, “The Zookeeper’s Wife” is as much a gripping war story as a series of anecdotes about the trials of raising a ‘zoo’ of animals.
All of these books are from my local library. It makes me happy just to walk in the library knowing I seek those titles. The tomes come away in my hands as though they were meant to be there, and I walk away with the dearest of friends, looking forward to many tea-laden evenings ahead.