Monday, March 28, 2011

Book Collection

Copyrighted by "A room without books is like a body without a soul." —Cicero

"Books to the ceiling. Books to the sky. My pile of books are a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I'll have a long beard by the time I read them." —Arnold Lobel

I took their words to heart.

I hoard books. There, I’ve confessed it in electronic ink. (I also hoard other things but I'm not going to confess to that here or elsewhere.)

To hoard is to squirrel away. My books are in plain sight. Hoard also means treasure, which I do, and to store in large quantities, which I do, too.

I have four tall bookcases in the study upstairs, four equally tall ones in the library downstairs, and one short one in the little people room. Then I have stashes in the living room, in the family room, on bedside tables, and on the desk in the kitchen.

The very covetousness nature of my book habit has me displaying books from my single-digit salad years, which, if you know me, was a very long time ago. One of the bookshelves in the library is filled with unread books just waiting to be read (snort).

Copyrighted by Daniel Hurst Photography I have signed books I disliked, but because they were addressed to me, I keep them. I have books that I don't particularly like, but I keep them, because I have had them for a very long time. History! I have classics that I absolutely hated(!!) but if you claim to be a reader, you better have those prominently on your shelves. Tradition! I have books, I have no interest is ever reading, but they hang out on the to-be-read (TBR) bookshelf, because you never know, a miracle could occur, and I'd read those books.

Copyrighted by Coffee table photobooks make great gifts, but after the first few perusals, they are relegated to organized, artistic arrangements next to photographs or acting as shelves for said photographs. They are nothing more than dust collectors at that point. The only book that gets a lot of use in our house is the atlas.

Of course, my beloved signed books, my cache of entire backlists of authors I have fanatic zeal for, the dictionary and thesaurus, the research books for the current writing project, the books with pretty covers showcasing my frivolous side, pristine journals, the valuable books donated to me by people I admire — these are my treasures. They are irreplacable.

Copyrighted by I leave you with these:

"Wear the old coat and buy the new book." —Austin Phelps

"So there you have it: a lifetime of first smelling the books, they all smell so wonderful, reading the books, loving the books, and remembering the books." —Ray Bradbury

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors and the most patient of teachers." —Charles W. Eliot

Which treasures line your bookshelves? If you're reading this blog, most likely, you have a book habit akin to mine. Do share, so I don't feel quite so guilty.


Victoria Janssen said...

WORD! And AMEN! And many similar sentiments!

Keira Soleore said...

*grin* Glad you agree. We all have such a habit that needs a regular supplier. Amazon is mine. Borders and Target used to be before.