When my kids were little, especially during the winter, they would each pick three to five books and we would go up and snuggle in my bed and read before bedtime; some together, some on our own, but we called it our “book picnic”. I guess the reason we called it that is because before it got moved to my bedroom (as a night-time maneuver to calm down the troops) we would spread a big quilt out on the living room floor and lay on our tummies and read stories together. If it was a nice day, we would go outside and spread out the blanket, toting along our goldfish crackers and sippies with half water, half apple juice. Wherever we went to get lost in a pile of stories, it was layered with quilts and the happy feeling of a picnic.
I guess now that my kids are older (and not inclined to read outside of what they have to do for school) we still have fond memories of the book picnics. Pointedly, when I began to clean out the cabinet of childhood books it almost incited a family feud. Each book had a special memory attached to it that prevented my donating it, and the kids even saying things like “Don’t give those away! I am keeping these for my kids!” One would snatch up “When Dinosaurs Go Visiting” and another “Goodnight Moon”. My own grandchildren may be tiny blips on the radar at this point, but observing how precious those books were to my kids made my heart feel so full. It was not just my happy memory; it was mutual nostalgia for the “book picnics”.
Occasionally, I still create a book picnic for myself. When I have a free hour or two before bed, and everyone else is occupied, I go get a pile of them and climb in bed, reading a few pages of one and then skipping to another, gleaning as much wisdom and insight as I can in the precious time I have with the variety of styles and topics.
Often in my reflections I will cite a book, reading, or video where I got an inspiration. To make it even easier, I decided to add a page to the blog called “Meg’s Bookshelf” so you can just see what I am reading, what we are studying in prayer group, or what others are mentioning from their own bookshelves at prayer group each week. Just click on the image if you want to order, and it will take you straight to amazon.
The list has only begun, so watch for more additions soon!
*Note; any proceeds will benefit our annual retreat next February to provide scholarship money and stipends.