The Joy of Reading

I’m a huge fan of reading. In fact, I receive questions from readers often asking for recommendations. Each week I’ll have a post dedicated to what I’m reading. Sometimes it’s books about etiquette. Sometimes it’s fictions. Currently, it’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: a Savannah Story. I’ve read this before, but, like most books, I find myself almost homesick for the places and people. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, though, is different because it’s non-fiction, meaning that the people and places are real. I can’t express how much I want to go to Savannah, Georgia and meet some of the characters. There’s not a perfect soul among them, but it’s often the imperfections we fall in love with.

My kids, thankfully, also love to read. Well, my son, who is four, loves being read to. My daughter, who is in kindergarten, has started reading fairly well on her own. From the time I was pregnant, we’d read stories to them. The first book I vividly remember reading to my pregnant belly was a Berenstain Bears book, a childhood favorite of my own.

Each Thursday we go as a family to our local library to find new treasures.

We’re very fortunate to have a phenomenal librarian and library staff. Each employee is wonderful with kids and adults and offer fantastic suggestions. The Berenstain Bears continue to be a favorite of both of my kids. However, as they’ve aged, they’ve added new favorites, as well. My daughter loves everything My Little Pony. My son tends to favor Paw Patrol. We’ve read Ramona Quimby books (one of my top picks as a kid), the Pinkalicious series and lots of others, well.

Even as a child I knew the power a book held. It allowed you to travel to places that don’t actually exist. You were able to see from the viewpoint of people who lives hundreds of years ago or who lived in different parts of the world. I remember lying on my bed looking at the back of my Berenstain Bears books thinking of which one I wished I had. I had two favorites in particular.

By now y’all likely know of my love of holidays, so I doubt it comes as much of a surprise that one of my favorites was The Berenstain Bears and the Prize Pumpkin. It tells of the meaning behind Thanksgiving and how we sometimes forget to be grateful for the little things in life.

My absolute, without-a-doubt, top pick of all time is The Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear (First Time Books(R)).

To this day, I get giddy when my kids and I curl up to read this book. It had the most beautiful cover, and I remember empathisizing strongly with Sister Bear. No matter what issue the Bear family faced, everything was always put back together by the end, which I appreciated as a child.

I strongly feel that reading grows our empathy and helps us to be a better person and citizen. We see the world from a different perspective, and we learn that our way isn’t the only way. I look forward to sharing what I’m reading with y’all, as well as some reading goals I’ve set for myself! I hope you’ll share with me, too!

What books are you reading right now? I always love suggestions!

 

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The Differences In Etiquette Books

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I’m often asked which etiquette book is my favorite. To be 100% honest, most from the 1920s-1950s hit the nail on the head, in my opinion. I love The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette, 50th Anniversay Edition. This is not the exact one that I have. Mine is much older, but from what I’ve reasearched, a lot of the “older” etiquette remains in this 50th anniversary addition. I feel like Ms. Vandernbilt went into great depth explaining various rules of etiquette. She not only explained the basics – she covered it all.

Another favorite is Emily Post’s Etiquette, 19th Edition: Manners for Today (Emily’s Post’s Etiquette). Now, this is one I’ve really noticed changes in over time. The writers of Emily Post Etiquette have relaxed a lot of the rules, which, being fairly traditional, I don’t love. Overall, though, the bones hold true, and it’s an easily understood etiquette book, which I feel is important. Should etiquette change? Absolutely. I just feel that some of the guidance is a little too casual for certain circumstances and enjoy a sense of formality many seem to miss in the world?

I really enjoy studying how etiquette books have changed and evolved over time. I always teach that etiquette is the culmination of cultural and societal norms. I’ve never seen a more accurate example than that of etiquette books and how they evolve over time. I hope this post helps you find the etiquette book that is best for you! Thank you for reading!

Reading Is Good For the Soul

One of my favorite things to do in my small town is to visit the local library on Thursdays with my kids. Most days the library closes at 6:00pm. On Thursdays, though, they delay opening for two hours in order to stay open until 8:00pm. The fact that the library is just two blocks from our home doesn’t hurt either.

My absolute favorite time to visit is at dusk. Oftentimes, particulary in spring and fall, the weather will be a bit misty, blurring the lines of the hectic world and washing everything clean. The lightposts glow pink as the light halos around the bulb. Walking towards the building becomes more and more peaceful with each step. It’s my sanctuary.

“Reading allows us to experience different cultures and places…”

It’s always been important to me that our kids grow up loving to read. It isn’t easy, though. It’s a time commitment when time is a rare commodity. It is, however, so incredibly worth it. The first time my daughter read a book on her own, I experienced a pride and happiness I had never known. My son, age 4, is getting close, too, and I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the day.

With reading, we get to experience different cultures and different places for a low, low price. I am a big promoter on etiquette not costing a lot. Knowledge shouldn’t either. There are many books I re-read because I get homesick for the different places. I’m currently reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story again, and I love it just as much, if not more, than the first time through. If you’re local to Sulphur Springs, the library had another copy available yesterday!

I hope this post encourages you to find a little time each week to devote to reading. I promise it’s time you’ll find well spent.

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Library Etiquette

My kids and I like to go to our local library on Thursday evenings. It’s open until 8pm on Thursdays, and, as a working mom, this is our little getaway each week.

I enjoyed just walking the aisles until something catches my eye. My daughter, 5, always migrates to the My Little Pony area, despite my attempts. I was always a Romona Quimby girl, to the point where I wrote “Ramona Quimby, age 8” at the top of all of my school papers when I was in the 3rd grade. I’m just grateful I went to a small school and my teacher, Mrs. Jaggers, knew who that was. My son likes The Berenstein Bears (it’s how I know he’s mine) and books about firemen.

Regardless of your interests, I’d bet you’ll be able to find them at your local library. I’ve surprisingly had a few emails informing me that people want to go to the library in their hometown, but they’re unsure of how to act. Here are a few pointers.

  • Unless you have a bottle-fed baby, don’t bring in food and water. Many libraries will have signs letting you know it’s not allowed, but it can easily harm books, which is the reasoning behind it.
  • Bring your kids! Most libraries have a kids’ section/area. Ours does, and it brings out their love for reading, which is essential.
  • Be timely in your returns. Aside from the minimal fine you’ll incur, it’s inconsiderate to other people who may have wanted to read that book.
  • Take phonecalls outside or to a designated area.
  • Don’t fold the pages! This one goes for any borrowed book. Don’t earmark the page to let you know where you are. Get a bookmark.
  • Limit computer use to an hour, if a time limit isn’t stated. Plenty of people use the library and all of its abundant resources, such as computers and/or wi-fi to do work. An hour is usually enough time to do what needs done while not preventing someone else getting their work done.

What other guidelines would you add to the above list?

As always, thank you for reading!