Dear Books,

I used to be an avid reader, so much so that I would read up to three of you guys per week. Whenever my sister, who is four years older, told me that I would fall out of the hobby later in life so I should read as much as possible now, I had looked up at her quizzically. Fall out of reading? No way, sister.

Fast forward to about a decade, and her words have never rung truer. It's been a good minute since I've picked up one of you all, and it's been an even greater minute since I've actually opened it up and read the entirety of it. During my freshman year of college, I found "better" ways to spend my time, one of which being using my phone (I'm sorry!). Even though I relished watching puppy videos on YouTube, in the back of my mind, I hungered for a good book.

It wasn't until this winter break that I finally gave in to that age-old hunger. I picked up one of you guys, finished it with gusto, and then picked up another one. And then another, and another. Reading was something that I haven't - that I've refused to partake in for the past handful of years. I now fill up my free time reading, and I realized how wonderful reading is. Most important, I've realized how much I missed it.

Long letter short, I want to tell you that Books, I love you. You have always been there for me no matter my mood or prowess. During my rough times, you have comforted me with your words and your worlds that I gratefully lived in for better parts of my week. Thank you for being so diverse, and imaginative, and accessible; i have lost a lot of sleep over you, but I do not regret a second of any time that I spend with you. Without you, Books, I would not be half the person I am today, and I do not mean that lightly.

Thank you for living in a place that is not only sprawling with comfy chairs but also welcoming to all. Thank you for being patient with me as I peruse you. Thank you for inspiring me with my own worlds, and for giving me glimpses of ones that shaped the one that I am in now. Thank you for making me an emotional wreck sometimes; I appreciate that a lot. Thank you for being resilient (as I have dropped a number of you in my lifetime) and so, so portable (especially now with E-readers). Thank you for keeping me company as I wait for my flight; thank you for being present as I eat my lunch; thank you for connecting me with other lovely people who also love you.

I'm sorry that I've been rough with you at times. I'm sorry that I didn't always finish you. I'm sorry for writing on you and dogearing you; I promise, I have good intentions. I'm sorry I can get a bit frugal with buying you, but you must understand that my economic status isn't the best. Most of all, I am sorry for neglecting you for the past seven years; I have been through quite a bit during that lifetime, and I have missed you dearly. I hope you forgive me. I love you, Books.

Sincerely,

Balbina