Curling Up With A Book

Reading books has always been something I’ve loved ever since I was a little kid. I quickly moved away from picture books at a young age, preferring stories with more words and just a few illustrations that appeared like a little gift every now and then. During the summer months, you’d find me at the local library nearly every week, picking up new books to read and returning the ones I’d just finished. I was able to read extremely quickly, so books didn’t last very long. But their stories stayed with me, each one creating a new place to visit again and again in my mind. As I grew older, my love of books continued and my bookshelves began to fill up. Each book was like a little trophy that I’d won by completing it. In my mind, I would make a silent promise to read it again one day, but with so many new stories to peruse that’s rarely ever happened. But just seeing reading the spine of a book will bring back bits of story, time, and place of an adventure I once enjoyed. One day still, perhaps I’ll return there.

My childhood fascination with the library lead me to begin college as an English major. I specifically wanted to be a journalist at first, but realized my penchant for imagination was stronger than my love of facts. I wanted to invent places and characters, not simply describe what was in front of me. I took a creative writing course that was probably one of my favorite classes of all time. My instructor came up with really fun exercises that made me actually want to show up to class, and more importantly, write more. She gave us the assignment of writing a short allegory and in my enthusiasm, I went home and wrote the first eight chapters of a book. I choose a library as my theme in honor of my childhood days spent there. Next class, I asked her what I should do and she smiled and suggested I simply turn in one chapter for the assignment and that would suffice. I choose Chapter 7, but I’m not entirely sure why, and although it was a fun read, but no masterpiece, I ended up publishing it years later with the admittedly odd title of Miser Snoot And The Bibliomaniacs.

I didn’t provide the illustrations, as I hadn’t started drawing yet. That would come next, as I decided to switch majors and pursue a Studio Art degree instead, with an emphasis in computer animation. Still not traditional art or painting, but thankfully, I had to take a couple drawing classes, which I absolutely loved. But, I never drew anything after that, as my career took a very different turn. Reading was something that remained a constant, however, and it’s still the same today. Though I have far less time to read these days, I can still manage to devour a book every now and then. I still love getting lost in stories of people and places that seem vaguely familiar, yet totally new and unexpected. Great stories become things that we ourselves can adapt and feel like they’re part of our own lives. No matter how incredible the tale, there are always bits that make us feel like we’ve lived something quite similar once upon a time. For these reasons, and so many more I can’t describe right now, I’ll always love the relaxing thrill of curling up with a book.

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 #WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 5 - Curling Up With A Book - Stack Of Books - Doodlewash
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
Published in By Charlie
35 Comments
  1. Kyra VIcory 2 weeks ago

    I love these books! I would buy a print!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Aww thanks so much, Kyra!! 😃💕 I’ll have to scan and make these available then!

  2. jotsfromasmallapt 2 weeks ago

    Books and the reading of them…so under stated. So enjoyed this post. 😊 Thank you, Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 Yeah, I feel like those days of books being the center of our content are going away. I hope that’s not the case. They’re amazing!

  3. Cathy 2 weeks ago

    Beautiful books! I really enjoyed your story about how you came to draw too!

  4. smzang 2 weeks ago

    My favorite hangouts are musty old book stores. All the better if they have a resident cat.
    My crusade is to keep the printed book alive. Schools have begun to discard print books in favor of digital.
    They are not even allowed to give the print books to kids who would love them. They cart them off to the
    dumpster. This was done to make room for digital. Of course there are still print books to be had in the schools
    but fewer and harder to get to. No digital media will ever give the same sensation as holding a print book in your
    hand, particularly an old one.

    You have a great gift as a writer as well as a painter.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much!! 😃💕 I totally agree… there’s nothing to compare to a printed book. Such a wonderful experience. But if digital does take over, I simply hope that people will still continue to write wonderful, imaginative stories and not sound bites.

  5. Sandra Strait 2 weeks ago

    Is your story still available? I’d love to read it!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Yes… via the link in the post… hehe… it’s nothing amazing though! Just fun! 😊

  6. Susan Cuss 2 weeks ago

    I often get lost in books. Wonderful adventures await!
    Love your books.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Susan! 😃💕 And so glad you’re a book lover too!!

  7. June Hadaway 2 weeks ago

    I really like the way you stacked the books and made them all so colorful. Great story too. See…I knew you were a writer. Bet it’s a good book too. 😊

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, June!! 😃💕 I’m just a wannabe writer…. hehe… and it’s not a masterpiece, but I actually read it again a couple years ago and thought… hey… this is kind of fun! lol

  8. Yvonne 2 weeks ago

    I so get your adventures and desires with books and reading! I was a misfit through most of my youth … books became my best friends. I love reading to this day and periodically I will have to stop the fast train of life and curl up with my favourites. I consider myself extremely blessed to have read a few books that made me homesick for places I’ve never been, nostalgic for things I’ve never done, and missing people I’ve never known. ❤️

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      That is such a glorious description, Yvonne!! 😃💕 So true!! I love that! It’s precisely the power of great storytelling!

  9. Lisa 2 weeks ago

    As a librarian, this warmed my heart!! Readers are my favorite kind of people!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      That’s awesome, Lisa!! 😃💕 Yay to librarians!! They were my first best friends!!

  10. Jennifer McLean 2 weeks ago

    Congratulations on being an author. Have you ever thought of writing another? I want to write a mystery, I had no idea I could write until my last year of university. I had changed from Carleton university to University of Victoria and they didn’t accept the course in english 101 I’d already passed with good grades, who knows why. So, I found myself in fourth year doing a first year english course. I had learned so much about writing from taking psychology and science courses. I had to learn to be accurate with third person plural or they wouldn’t accept your experiment write up. I passed the 101 with an A+ and realized I loved it. Then when I started my blog on art, I was even more surprised that I loved the writing of the blog too. Now all I have to do is find the TIME to learn to write a mystery. Oh, I just split my blog into separate parts. Instead of it being about art with book reviews on the side I went professional and now have another blog, NextBookInYourHand.com. In a month there’ll be an actual blog there! Hope to have you as a subscriber, I could use all the help I can get! It’s a little scary giving up all my stats to upgrade to wordpress. Wish me luck! (ps. I think you should write another one!)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      You should totally write that mystery, Jennifer!! I KNOW you have it in you! 😃💕 And that’s so awesome that you’re taking the plunge with something new! And count me in as a subscriber… just send me a link when it’s up and running! And yes, one day I’ll write a proper new book, once I find a bit more time and muster the appropriate courage. 😊

      • Jennifer McLean 2 weeks ago

        Oh, well if you have courage to spread around I’ll send you my address, you can send it in an envelope! Yup, courage is what I need too. That and HOW to pry the main character out of my brain. LOL. I need a crowbar. I know I can do it, I just need time and courage too… and maybe a push off the proverbial cliff. ;o)

  11. memadtwo 2 weeks ago

    I love that your book was set in a library…still one of my favorite places! (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Kerfe! 😃💕 The library is the best, though I have to admit not visiting one in quite awhile. Still love reading though!

  12. creatingincolors 2 weeks ago

    Love your painting of books. Definitely print-worthy as an earlier post suggested! You describe so well the joy of reading a book, becoming totally absorbed in another place.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 I was pleased with this little doodlewash… a bit looser than others. Glad you liked it! And yay to books! Still the best travel experience in the world!

  13. Kaye Boggs 2 weeks ago

    I love reading too and if we have to evacuate our beach residence for Hurricane Irma heading this way, I’ll be taking my kindle with five books loaded on it and my travel paints and paper. We have reservations 60 miles away in Orlando, but it may head there up the center of the state as well. We are hoping it heads east of us and stays way out at sea, and not just off our coast. We are staying set until each next tropical storm update but have gas in the car and a list of what to take with us. We have evacuated 7 times so we have it down to a science. We probably have 4 or 5 days until mandatory evacuation is imposed but we are starting to make lists and preparation.
    Keep your fingers crossed for your Florida friends.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Oh wow, Kaye! Fingers crossed and sending you lots of love! But, as you said, you’re a pro by now, so I’m sure everything will work out. And yay to having books with you to enjoy along with paints and paper! Everything, will then be perfectly fine!! 😃💕

  14. Tina 2 weeks ago

    Aren’t books just marvellous? Your story reminds me of myself when I was young, I “lived” in my books. In my early 20s I was once sitting in a café, reading, when someone touched my arm and I got such a fright. He said I looked like I was absolutely detached from my surroundings, so deep in that book – and he was right. Never understood why he saw the need to get me out of this so ‘brutaly’.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Aww that’s awesome, Tina! 😃💕 I totally relate to that! A great book can pull you so deeply into the experience that you forget everything around you. So cool!

  15. Sandra Gilbert 2 weeks ago

    Beautiful books. Next to a fresh tin if watercolors, a stack of books is my favorite sight.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      hehe!! Totally agree to that, Sandra!! 😃💕 The two best things in the world!

  16. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 2 weeks ago

    Your book stack makes me wonder what are the titles.

    College opens doors to our futures but thankfully does not limit us to those early choices. I majored in English, always planning to write books but became an art teacher for many years, a field I entered through the back door. Now here I am, an old lady, still writing books and trying to figure out the dastardly publication business. And still sometimes painting, always a passion.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Hehe… I’d add titles if I could ever figure out how to letter properly! 😉 And yay to still chasing after your passions! I don’t think there’s ever an age that we should stop pursuing what we love most. I have no clue on the publication business as it sounds frightful, so I just self-published to put something out there. Never stop writing and painting. The world needs what you’ll make next! 😃💕

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