Relax. Relax. Relax. Relax. Relax. I said relax!

Published 8:05 am Monday, January 4, 2010

“Take time to read it is the foundation of knowledge.” That quote from an unknown author jumped out of the page at me as I was reading one of the many, many books and magazines I have stockpiled in my home.

I have been de-cluttering for years and my house has been getting emptier but somehow I feel there is still too much stuff left. I haven’t brought too much more in but there is the stuff that I kept that I wanted to make use of but “haven’t got around to it.” Remember the round tuits of the ’70s or ’80s.

I used to read all the time. I love books. I love magazines. I have learned so much over the years by reading. I am not one of those people who can listen and see something done and follow the directions that way. I need to see the directions in print.

Email newsletter signup

It seems I had more time to read when my children still lived in my household. Reading late at night would help me sleep and forget about the stresses of the day. I was always a fiction, romance reader. Harlequin Romances were my favorite in my younger years.

I have trunks of books that I need to read. Or perhaps I should put it another way. I have trunks of books that I want to read and cannot part with until I have done so. I don’t know what happened to my reading time. It seems other things have taken precedence such as television, computers and busyness.

Christmas Day found us alone. We were invited to friends but it was very snowy and I was very tired. So Christmas Day I pulled out my stack of books and started to read. I read my Oprah Magazine, Good Housekeeping and a Steeple Hill Romance. I was especially interested in the SteepleHill Romance as I have a friend whose first book for SteepleHill is coming out this month and she has two others that are being published.

I slept better at night and I was thoroughly relaxed by the end of the day. The next day I even tried recipes in Good Housekeeping. I continued my journey through some of my books reading Nicholas Sparks “Two Brothers.” It was the story of his life and his relationship with his brother.

We read to learn and we read to relax. Reading opens worlds that we could not imagine. One of my favorite books was The Alchemist. I read that book quite awhile ago but it is one that I keep on my shelf to re-read. Reading the Alchemist made me realize my treasure is right where I am if only I look for it.

Sometimes reading about people’s lives helps you to get on with your own. In the vast wilderness of life there is someone that has seen tragedy and has survived with an amazing journey and it may help us move forward with hope.

Amazon has the kindle for reading. To me it is the feel of the book in your hand and the excitement of turning the pages to see what is next and the smell of the print that entices me. I do not think I could get the same from an electronic device. It isn’t just the words it is the whole experience.

I have started blogging about my journey of paring down. I still haven’t quite got the feel of blogging. I remember diaries where what you wrote was secret. Diaries held the secrets to your heart not to be read by anyone else until you were long gone. Blogs document your feelings. I felt with a blog perhaps other people will help me in my journey and perhaps I can help them. If no one reads it is also ok because I am doing it for me to keep me motivated and to document the journey.

I am not throwing when I am paring. This time I am using each bottle of lotion that I have in my house. I am using each scrap of craft material and I am going to read every book that I have stored away in my trunks.

It is not going to be a fast journey. I didn’t collect all of these things overnight and I don’t expect them to disappear overnight. I expect to savor the experience, learn a lot and find treasure hidden by the years.

“Take time to read it is the foundation of knowledge.” Perhaps at the end of my many trunks of books and my paring down I will have a strong foundation.

Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send e-mail to her at .Her blog is Listen to KBEW AM radio 1:30 p.m. Sundays for “Something About Nothing.”