Bookish gratitude for Thanksgiving 2013

I posted an initial version of this piece on Thanksgiving in 2012 — and since most of it is still relevant, I thought I’d repost it again today, with a few updates for 2013.

In another hour, I’ll head to the kitchen to start working on my contributions to the holiday meal. Meanwhile, my family and I are relaxing around the house. My son is playing video games, still in his pajamas. My husband and I just got home from a walk at the beach, where we enjoyed fresh breezes and blue skies. Before long, we’ll have to start the hustle and bustle of getting dressed and hitting the road for our Thanksgiving celebration with friends. But meanwhile, it feels a bit like I’ve managed to hit the pause button of life for just a few minutes.

In this brief lull on my Thanksgiving Day, I want to take a moment to reflect on all the small joys of life as a reader and take stock of what’s made me happy and grateful this year.

I AM THANKFUL that my family, despite their teasing and occasional complaints, understands that books matter to me and respect my need to carve out some quiet reading time every day.

I AM THANKFUL to all the wonderful people who have stopped by my blog since its birth a year and a half ago. The blogging community is amazing and dynamic and inspiring and so much fun. Your comments, support, and encouragement continue to mean so much to me! THANK YOU!

I AM THANKFUL to the members of my online book circles for turning me on to reading choices I might not have encountered on my own. Thank you, Goodreads friends, Outlander Book Club, fellow book bloggers, meme hosts and participants, and more!

I AM THANKFUL to the authors of my favorite books published in 2013, including Stephen King, Rainbow Rowell, David Levithan, Joe Hill, and Nicole Peeler. Thank you for all the thrills, chills, laughs, and tears.

I AM THANKFUL to the authors who take the time to respond to questions and interact with their readers. It can’t be easy, but your graciousness is so appreciated! Thank you for being not just terrific writers but also good people.

I AM THANKFUL to the local bookstores who’ve hosted some marvelous author events this year, and thankful to the authors who graciously sign SO MANY BOOKS. A special thank you to Bee Ridgway, who was absolutely delightful when I came to her bookstore appearance — and who (by the way) wrote one of the very best books I read in 2013!

I AM THANKFUL to Diana Gabaldon — this year and always — for her incomparable Outlander series and all of its associated offshoots, and for teasing her readers with her Daily Lines on Facebook.

I AM THANKFUL to the San Francisco Public Library — and really, public libraries everywhere! — for long hours, fantastic resources, and outstanding service to the community. Thank you for letting me take out limitless books, request whatever I want, and for having so many good selections for my child!

I AM THANKFUL for all the organizations working so hard to bring education, books, and literacy programs to the people and communities who need these resources so desperately. Goodreads has a terrific list of non-profits working in these areas, and I urge everyone who cares about these causes to check it out and find a way to pitch in.

A personal favorite: The National Library Initiative of JWI (Jewish Women’s Initiative), whose good works include establishing children’s libraries in homeless shelters and shelters for victims of domestic violence and abuse. You can find more information here.

I AM THANKFUL to have so many choices when it comes to reading. I love being able to find excellent works of fiction, not only on the bestseller lists, but also in children’s books, young adult novels, and graphic novels.

I AM THANKFUL to have the ability to walk away from books that aren’t working for me. It took me years to master the guilt of leaving a book unfinished! But I’ve gotten wiser, and now fully embrace the mantra that “life’s too short to read bad books”.

I AM THANKFUL that my daughter loves to talk books with me, and that my son — while still the most reluctant of readers — does love to listen to a good story.

I AM THANKFUL for my almost stuffed bookshelves and the books, old and new, that fill them up.

I AM THANKFUL to all the writers, everywhere, who work so hard to share their creativity with all of us avid readers!

With an endless amount of books to read, I will never be bored, I will continue to learn, I will explore lands and times beyond my physical reach. And for all this and more, I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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