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My Comfort

For as long as I can remember, books have always been my comfort.  My dreams.  My escape when I need one, and my friend when I'm lonely.  From a young age, I have memories not of mud pies or falls on the playground, but of a single white bookshelf, stacked with all the stories I brought home.  First Harry Potter, hard covers as each new book found its way into bookstores, The Giver and Memories of Summer - both read so many times I'm amazed their spines haven't given way, falling off and letting the pages go with them; then, as I got older, different books - Practical Magic, Edgar Allan Poe and The Fault in our Stars, all read so many times and so thoroughly I could quote my favorite passages.

I find books that speak to me, take them in like some people take drugs - finding a peace there that I long for in every other book I read afterwards and that I hold onto memories of the way some people hold onto beach trips and first loves.  I remember stacks of books from the school library, placed next to and under my desk, because I never could decide which book it was that I wanted to read.  I remember the nights in my mother's bed, reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets together.

I find a certain comfort in my stacks of books - lying however they fit along my walls and in my corners.  I stare at the shelf for hours, trying to decide what to reread - Water for Elephants or Peter Pan, or whether I should start something new, try to find that same emotion in a different story that I've found in every Harry Potter book since I was 7 years old.


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