I have always thought it would be cool to be a librarian. I love books, scouring over pictures and artwork, reading stories that take me to faraway places and into worlds I had never even imagined. Today I stroked it off my bucket list. I am a volunteer librarian at our kids’ school. We have to put in so many hours of volunteer work at the school and what better place than the library? And book geek that I am, I was totally thrilled that I got my own library card!
This morning as I read stories and helped kids find books to read, I felt a tremendous satisfaction. There’s nothing more exciting than giving a child a book and seeing the potential of the two coming together; child with imagination and book. I’ve seen it happen with my own boys. A book, a story that captures the imagination can set in motion so many things, it will blow your mind! Comics or pictures are drawn, new battles acted out with light sabres or lego-mini figs. Storylines are set in motion for all kinds of play. Ideas attach themselves to other books or things read. It’s a tremendous thing to witness.
Setting up books on the table to spotlight, I pulled Jane Eyre out and put it in a prominent place. I have a degree in English and some of the classics are so good, I just had to dust off their covers. I knew some girl would see Jane and take her home. As I checked out the books, Jane showed up with some other books. I smiled at the girl and said, “That’s such a good book!”
Surprisingly, another child had pulled Pride and Prejudice off the shelf! I smiled secretly. I know these girls will find good friends among these stories. Yeah I know I totally sound like a book nerd. I’m okay with that.
Since I’m talking about books, I wanted to share a couple of books I’ve read or been reading that you really shouldn’t miss out on. I took the summer to savour, Angie Smith’s Chasing God. You have to read this a chapter at a time because she gives you so much to think about. I really had to go back and rethink what I knew or thought I knew about God. I had to question whether it was man-made up or truth? It was a process of rediscovering who God is and isn’t. Angie Smith is real and funny and not afraid of the hard questions! I haven’t shelved it yet because I want to read it again. It had that much in it! I loved this book.
The second book is Atlas Girl by Emily Wierenga. She’s a fellow Canadian and half of the story takes place around the area I grew up. The names of towns and scenery was familiar. It’s her memoir and I’ve eaten it up, almost done. It’s gritty and raw as she writes about her battle with anorexia and childhood neglect. How she nursed her mom, who had brain cancer. It’s not depressing at all because all along her journey, God doesn’t lose sight of Emily. She too, asks the hard questions. It’s the kind of book where at the end, you just want to have a coffee with her. Seriously.
Both Smith and Wierenga, in telling their own stories and struggles, give us permission as readers, to ask our own questions. To go to God and say, “I don’t get this”, “Why?” and “Help my unbelief”. It shatters some of the stereotypes out there that because we follow Jesus, we have to have all the answers. Good news is, we don’t. He’s so much bigger than our questions. He can handle them. It’s okay to ask. Maybe sometimes even shout them. He’s got it.
There are so many good books out there, that my pile of Have to Reads is going to be taller than I am soon! So much to read and so little time! I might have to make room at the top of the pile for Jane though. It’s been a while.