Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

Pages of Trees

I love books. Libraries are some of my favorite places. I love their restfulness. I love walking around in them, scanning titles and covers, pulling a book off a shelf to read the inside of the front cover, look at the author’s photo on the back. Whenever I moved to a new city, one of my first tasks was to get a library card. Libraries have street maps and telephone books (well probably not anymore), essentials for a new resident.

I love the way different writers use language, the images they conjure up through their choice of words, how they string them together, the rhythm of the phrases, short, long. How they manipulate meaning or suddenly surprise you with unforseen plot twists. My eyes and brain flow over the sentences joining together the thoughts, feelings, visuals to paint a whole world. An escape from my reality into theirs. I soak up new words (I have a dictionary on my nightstand) and delight in how authors arrange and rearrange them to showcase their versatility. Meeting new people in their characters: plain, flat, plausible, funny, vulnerable, irritating, inspiring. Stories that grip, enthrall, draw you in like a magnet, as you lose all sense of time. How many nights have a glanced over at my clock to see the hands straight up at midnight.

I have been reading books for as long as I remember. Hardback, paperback. Borrowed from friends, checked out of the library, picked up at the airport. Short stories, essays on interesting things, or long novels. Books are stacked on my night table and piled on the floor next to my chair. I love sitting curled up under the glow of a lamp, the rustling sound as I finger through the paper pages (no Kindle for me!) that once were part of a larger, living thing. Sometimes my evening reading repose has my legs tucked underneath. Other times they splay over the armrest. Often there is a glass of wine or a cup of hot tea within my grasp.

Reading is more than a hobby or past-time for me. I feel it’s a calling, a responsibility and urge to expand my knowledge and insight. To discover other perspectives, take part in discussions laid out by the author through their characters. I get sucked into the pages as they befriend me, talk to me, permeating my senses, invading my peace and fortifying my spirit.

Another reason I am thankful for trees. Their beauty, their inspirational resilience, their generosity, giving of their substance to provide many glorious hours of reading through the pages of books. Pages once alive as a tree, come alive again with words.

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