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Friday, April 29, 2011

Why I Read Books

I had a wonderful experience yesterday. I was invited by a group of women to speak about natural birth, about women's health, and about attending birth. We spent two hours together and decided at the end that we would meet every week to read, study and learn together. Two of the women are expecting so we will be accompanying them through their pregnancies, and possibly their births as well.
We are reading books about birth, on health, breastfeeding, anatomy, VBACs, and of course we will be discussing our own experiences as well. We are getting together out of a sense of loyalty and friendship, dare I say love? We are a handful of women from different countries, cultures, and races. It is looking to be an exciting process.
So, the most amazing thing was, the place we had our meeting was the grand central library in downtown Montreal. It is a large, rather imposing building on a large street across from the main bus station.
The building, as you would expect, is full of books. It houses a exhibition room, many small meeting rooms, a huge children's library and all the arts, science, literature, documents, journals, and everything else that you could possibly want to read. It has study tables, movie desks, media booths, and armchairs absolutely everywhere. And the chairs are full! The library is full - people of all ages, colors, styles, languages - they are everywhere, reading, listening to music, borrowing basketfuls of books, looking things up...

When I was small my favorite spot was an armchair in the living room, where I would curl up and read for hours. As I grew older I migrated into my bedroom to read. But I have always read, and books have been some of my best friends. One year, when I was expecting my third child, and my husband was teaching English in the evenings, we lived in a tiny medieval village (in the tower in the center of the village - but that's another story), and I had no books except a collection of Rudyard Kipling. I read those books over and over, even the ones in that awful Pidgin. I love to go into that other world where books live, to make friends with characters, writers and ideas. I like knowing that there are people in the world who think, dream, and write.

I have just written a book. It is about birth, and about the choices a woman can make throughout her childbearing year. It is about attending women in birth, and about ways and means to assist a woman during pregnancy and childbirth. It took me the best part of three years and it is almost ready to be sent out into that same world. It will be available for sale by June 15, 2011.

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