New Culture Revolution

New Culture Revolution is an online blog co-created by stylist Sima Kumar & actor Kristin Kreuk sharing our love of arts & culture, travel, beauty, fashion, health & wellness, literature & film.

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NCR: Arts & Entertainment > Bookworms

The other day Kristin and I moved a bookshelf in her house. Moving a bookshelf stacked with books means removing the books from the shelves first, so we could move the piece of furniture to its new location. Then we went about organizing the books which I’d stacked in piles on her dining room table. What followed was so much heart bursting delight. We found ourselves sharing our love of books and reading and what it meant to us. It’s a special relationship, intimate even. It’s just you and the book and all the words that will open up a whole new world and perspective to you once you engage. To me reading is a relationship. It requires attraction, interest, engaging, exploring and commitment. This post is about our relationship with reading and why it’s one we treasure so much. We hope it inspires people to read more. Enjoy!

I distinctly remember the day my parents’ took my brothers’ and me to the library to get us our own library card. I felt  it to be like what teenagers who get their drivers licence must feel like: freedom.  I recall being filled with excitement. This event had many “grown up” elements. This wasn’t me borrowing a book from my school library, it was me having my own Vancouver Public Library card. I would have a “home branch”. Mine was the Collingwood Branch. I would have my own card with my name and signature on it. I could use it anytime I wanted. I was responsible for returning these books on time.

There is a rush I get from being in a library or bookstore. I love the feeling of being surrounded by so much knowledge and knowing I can pick out whatever topic or story interests me. I immerse myself in another world, someone else’s life, a fictional story where I’m invited along for the ride. The very first book I borrowed from the library was Little House on the Praire. I remember bringing it home and sitting in our back yard under the cherry tree and opening to the adventure. Reading was my initial experience with my own creativity. I remember decorating the back of the wagon and imagining the outfits the Ingall sisters were wearing. Each word was a visual stroke painting a picture that I was the creator of. The characters became my friends. Reading enabled me to visit worlds far beyond my ability to travel and I often think it is because of my love of reading that I grew up to travel so much. My favorite thing to pack in my carry on when I board a flight … a book. And not one on my iPad either… an actual printed on paper book. For me, books are friends that I get to choose, and they stay with me forever. Their story forever becomes part of my story and how I experience the world. ~ Sima

My first true obsession book-wise was Anne of Green Gables. I read every single book in the series. And then moved on to Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Emily of New Moon series. And then I moved on to the Bronte sisters. And then Steinbeck… And then… And then… And then… As a somewhat sheltered and introverted kid and teenager, books were my way of learning about and experiencing the world.

When I first got a job the only things I would spend money on were books and music. There was this wonderful used book store on Cambie Street near my house that smelled of pages and pages of paper. I loved finding books that had notes in them, books that were once gifts to others. And although I wasn’t willing to spend money on them, I absolutely adored the antique books that were dusty and rich in history. I suppose I both loved the stories within the books and the stories of the books themselves.

Books make my heart soar. They have opened my mind, educated me, made me cry and laugh and stay up till morning reading.  ~Kristin

Notes

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    So very true
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    Books, books, books.
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