Monday, October 14, 2013

Book Binding

"They came today,"  he said standing over me in the hall. It was Thursday evening and I was folded over on the floor outside of the children's bedrooms, waiting for them to fall asleep. They were almost there.

I reached up to take the thick hardcover book from my husband's left hand--one of two we were expecting from Amazon. He was holding the second in his right hand.

"Awesome. I'll be down in a minute." I opened the cover and was immediately sucked in.

Wes had come home from work just in time to say good-night to the kids and the two surprise baby fish that had appeared in Tyjah's fish tank. This had caused a huge stir at bed-time, with children running from bedroom to bedroom to relay minute-by-minute updates.

"One's behind the heater!"

"The big fish is chasing them!"

Tyjah's face brimmed with all the concern and pride of a new father.

Wes smiled at me knowingly as he passed by me again in the hallway and I listened as he made his way back to the couch at the bottom of the stairs. Even though I knew we would both be completely absorbed in our own books for the rest of the evening, I couldn't wait to be down there with him.

But sleepy children can come up with all kinds of ways of staving off the heaviest of eyelids. And, of course, the new fish didn't help. It took a while longer before I, too, made my way down the stairs. Shrugging off the option to have the second couch all to myself, I walked to the other end of the couch where Wes was stretched out. Without looking up from his book, he turned on his side and tucked his feet toward his chest to make room for me. 

We sat in comfortable silence, broken occasionally as one or the other of us offered up an interesting word from our reading.

"Affability" one of us might say aloud. 

To which the other would invariably respond, "that's a good word."

Sometimes I would look up wanting to share an impressive passage with him, but seeing him absorbed in his own book, I held back. 

" Are you going to read this book?" He interrupted. "Because I really want you to read it, too, so we can talk about it."

Ten minutes disappeared into the stillness.

"Ah!!! I REALLY want you to read this book!" 

I smiled from behind my own book at his lack of patience.

Ironically, the hardcovers held up between us do more to bind us together than separate us.

Chapter ten. Eighty-three pages into my new book, I thought I'd better check the time. I didn't want to because I knew it would lead to me putting my book down. But Wes's breathing had grown heavy on the other end of the couch and I knew it must be later than I hoped.

I sat up. His eyes were closed and his book had fallen to his chest, but the squeeze of his hand on my ankle told me not only that he was aware of me, but that he didn't want me to go.

I quickly went through the routine of getting ready for bed then joined him again downstairs.


It was Sunday when he opened the book that I had just finished and insisted that he MUST read. See? It works both ways.

How Wes approaches a new book is nothing short of ART.

He sat beside me, turning the book over in his hand, respectfully inspecting its binding. He removed the jacket carefully, tenderly ran his index finger over the embossed title on the spine, then just as carefully, folded the book back into its protective wrap. He read the back cover, then opened the front cover and read the flap. Slowly he turned through the first few pages--the blank ones and the title page. He checked the date of publication and then finally...began reading the preface.

I am so happily bound to this man.

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