Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman
Happy Valentine's Day! If ever there was a book to promote for bookworms on the day of love, this would be it. In the 25 years since my mother taught me how to read, there have been certain books that forever defined me as, "a reader".
In our home library, bookshelves are not just filled with inanimate paperbacks, they are filled with memories. I can glance at a book title and remember where I was living when I first read it, or how old I was when it came into my life. A book cover can instantly bring to mind scents, sights, and experiences in ways that, for me, photographs cannot.
My first experience with author Anne Fadiman came as required reading for a Freshman English class in college. Selected from a list of book options, I plowed my way through The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, enjoying it enough to throw it in my suitcase for my mother to read over Christmas break. While I found Fadiman to be an interesting writer, what I didn't know was that she also had a sense of humor.
In Ex Libris, Fadiman discusses how certain books became "favorites" because of the way that they helped shape her as a writer, daughter, sister, wife, and mother. Although I was expecting more of a treatise on why books are good for the soul, what I found instead was a hilarious collection of stories about marriage, family, first jobs, and parenthood. Her chapters on "mixing books" and her family's innate ability to spot a mistake in restaurant menus, had me laughing until the tears came.
The fact of the matter is, Ex Libris has now become a favorite of mine, and I look forward to re-reading it in years to come.
Bookworm Rating: Top Shelf