My mother schooled me in the art of opening new books when I was very young. I never heard this referred to anywhere else in my lifelong relationship with books until it popped up in my Facebook feed a few days ago. Thank you, writer friend Del Sheree Gladden.

This brings back memories of the school book fairs at The Lane School in my hometown where I was allowed to pick out two or three books to take home. When the books came home, Mom sat down with me and showed me how to “open the book.”

We read many of these books together, a chapter at a time, usually before an afternoon nap or bedtime. I can hear Mom’s voice reading me the stories of Winnie the Pooh and his Expotitions with friends, magical tales from Carl Sandburg’s Rootabaga Stories, and adventures with Mr. Toad in The Wind in the Willows.

This was the message–books are treasures to be respected, protected, and loved. I haven’t opened a new hardback book in this way in a long time, but the lesson that opened my relationship with books stays with me.

8 thoughts on “Opening Books

  1. Lovely memories. My mother had a collection of very old books, which were stored on shelves under the stair steps. So just like Harry Potter, I sat under the stair steps reading some old classics. And they had that old book smell, of course.


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