Of all my worldly goods, books are probably what I love the most. In books there can be found so many things. Reading a book isn't just about gaining knowledge. It's the pleasure of it, the feel of the cover between your hands, the weight of it, the turning of each page, the smell of the ink and paper. Books contain entire worlds, anything you could possibly imagine, things fantastic and mysterious and heartbreaking.
Growing up homeschooled was difficult at times. I did get lonely on occasion. I had friends, but my world was something entirely different from theirs. Their lives revolved largely around what had happened at school that day. When you're the only person in your school, there is no drama, or gossip, or wondering what to wear. The bullies, the popular kids, the geeks, the outcasts..none of those people existed for me. I was all of those things, and none of them.
I frequently lost myself in my own imagination. Books were really not much different than that. It was just taking a break from my own head and losing myself in someone else's for a while. There was no loneliness in the turning of pages, in the stories playing out in each chapter. There was no one to judge me or think me strange, which is what often happened when I met other people my age. It was like someone had branded me with a big blazing mark that said "DIFFERENT", and of course when you're a child, and then a teenager, being different is usually considered to be a bad thing. I've never regretted my education, and I don't wish that I'd been allowed to attend public school. I just wish others had been more accepting of it.
So I read. I devoured books. I spent most of my allowance on new ones, and I always wanted more. Fantasy, history, true crime, mythology, fiction...I tried to fill myself to the brim with stories and facts, but my desire to read was bottomless. It's something I have never grown out of. I love books, and bookstores, and libraries. I hoard my books like a dragon guarding treasure, gloating over each new one I acquire. No matter how many I have, I will never have enough.
I dream of one day having a house with a proper library in it. I want every wall to have floor-to-ceiling bookcases loaded with books. My fiance is a smart man. For Valentine's Day, he didn't get me chocolate, or jewelry, or flowers. He bought me books, because he knows that's the way to my heart.