First Love

Dear Books,

I have been in love with you for as long as I can remember.

My first real crush happed when I was around ten, and the Hadigan girls from around the corner gave me about 20 hard-covered Nancy Drew Books. I treasured those books; I actually still have them. From The Secret of the Old Clock and The Hidden Staircase to The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes, and The Mystery of the 99 Steps, Nancy embodied “girl power” and set me on a mystery-loving course.

My love continued during those five summers of Vacation Reading Club (VRC) with Mrs. Den at the Northeast Regional Library in Philadelphia. Each week we a book from a different genre and discussed them. This was my first experience with book clubs. NERL became a second home. I even became a “page” who reshelved books on the children’s floor – especially in the picture book room.

My love of books led me to find the love of my life. High school found me sitting on my front steps reading every chance I could get. I have to admit, dear books, I did cheat on you just a little to sneak a peek at Chuck as he made his way down to Kenny’s house. A sort of “blind date” ensued, and over 48 years later we are still together and reading books to our grandchildren.

In 1996, Oprah launched her book club, and in 2004 I along with three friends from work launched our book club. We would grow to 10 women strong and dub ourselves the “Chapter Chicks.” We just celebrated 18 years of laughter, camaraderie, support, and a little bit of talking about books.

I still love you, books, even when I send you off into the world to be shared by others. You have been at the center of my life always, and some of my fondest memories involve you. You are a constant companion.


10 thoughts on “First Love

  1. I love this Rita! From the time I met you, you were a bookworm. I’m also very lucky to be part of our Chapter Chicks! Even if I’m always catching up! ❤️📚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great love letter! I love that you have had a meaningful book club for so many years. Mine always end up being more wine and talking than book talking.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, Rita, you did such a great job of personifying books. Isn’t it find to write a letter like this? I could totally relate to everything you wrote…Nancy Drew, living at the library and the heartache of sending books off with others. The only thing that’s amiss is that Mike and I didn’t meet over books. His sister was a new college friend and I literally walked into his house and met him for the first time. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I would be lost without my book companions. For me, the Hardy Boys started me on the path of becoming a lifelong reader. You and you husband are now instilling a love of reading to your grandchildren. How wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can share your early love of books and that green covered collection of Nancy Drew I inherited from somewhere. I read them again and again and again. Now, I need to find a book club like yours….perhaps I need to start one!


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