I was at the local bookstore this afternoon - you know, one of those where the aisles are crowded with overflowing bookshelves, the floor creaks and dips in the middle, and the resident cat weighs 25 lbs. because he's been there forever. I noticed that some of the books were new, some of them were
very old, and some of the dust jackets had served their country well because there was enough residue on them to prove they arrived the same day as the cat.
I had a gift certificate, which is clearly the best form of cash. I made my way through the store, wandering through novels, classics, paperbacks and the like. But before long, the magnetic pull to the children's section drew me in like it does every time.
I started to quietly flip through the picture books. As I did, two women walked by on the other side of where I was standing and immediately began to "ooh" and "aah". One woman picked up a book and without hesitation began to read it aloud to the other as if she were reading it to her own child. I paused and listened and realized that there is something that makes us do that- we see the beautiful illustrations and the touching story with its bit of wit and humor and it hits us like a greeting card on steroids. We are compelled to read it cover to cover to whomever is standing by, or to ourselves if no one else is around.
I could hear the smiles in their voices as she laid the book back down and reminisced with her friend about how she had read that one to her children years before. It brought back only good memories of a time gone by. As they started to explore other books on the shelves, the picture book lover in me wanted to leap over to them and start vocalizing recommendations and personal preferences but then I thought, "Who DOES that? They'll think I'm crazy......." and I remained silent.
Silent, but happy.
It just confirmed to me that I'm not crazy for loving picture books.
I'd be crazy not to.