I don't remember the title, but I remember the book had two hundred and fifty-four pages. I got the book from the bookmobile, which came to our village every three weeks, when I was a kid. It was the biggest book I had attempted to read at the time. I found it on a shelf of youth mystery books in that wonderful, book-scented bus filled with all delights of reading.
Wind-blown rain pattered noisily against my bedroom window, as I opened the cover and flipped to chapter one. For several hours I was lost in the story. I looked at the page number and saw I was on page sixty.
"That's not too bad," I thought.
"I'm almost a quarter of the way through."
I looked at the number of pages in a book as a scary chore. Throughout my teens, I always checked the page number I read and compared it to the total number, anxious to be done with the task - whether reading for pleasure or homework. I gauged my progress by how close I was to the end. My satisfaction came when I closed the book on the last page.
Forty years later, enthralled with a good story, I never look at the page number. I enjoy the story. The end is no longer a sigh of relieve. It's a sad moment, when I have to leave the world in the pages and return to the real one. I savor every moment of the life I am taken to between the pages.
It was those same teenage years when I longed for time to fly, so I could be on my own - to live the life I wanted. I didn't savor the pages as they turned.
Today, my final page is hopefully not too close. I want to savor the story my life pages have to offer. I've learned to enjoy the story. Each page is carefully read and loved for the new information it holds. What did yesterday teach me?
I turn the page on tomorrow.
What new mystery and excitement will unfold?
I no longer rush life; I enjoy the read.