Friday, August 7, 2009


In kindergarten, I failed to learn my alphabet in a timely fashion and there were those (aka my teacher and grandmother) who worried something wasn't quite right with my brain. They may have had some slim reason for concern as I had been quite ill the previous year and hospitalized with pneumonia. Nowadays, docs reassure over-anxious parents such as myself that high fevers do not actually delete brain cells . . . but moving on. The summer leading up to 1st grade found both of my teacher parents toiling with me and a set of phonics books. Their hard work and dedication (and my resilient brain cells) persevered and I learned to read. And they'd be the first to tell you that I haven't stopped reading since! 
I thought I'd take you through a tour of the current stacks of books littered about my house. Yes, fascinating, I'm sure. The above pic features one of the piles with actually completed books -- well, one at least. The Irving novel, A Son of the Circus. He's a favorite of mine and this bizarre novel is no exception. The others represent my slightly eclectic tastes these days -- a little Victorian Bronte, spiritual searching and of course, what therapist would be without a book on schizophrenia. 
This delightful stack is currently on my kitchen counter. Did I mention the other was on my dresser? It is. (And one by the bed and another in the closet and a third on yet another dresser. I may have a problem. Do you think there's a 12-step group for obsessive book collecting?). Clearly this stack is all about work "stuff" and rather than continue to bore you with those, I took some pictures of some of my most nostalgic oldies . . .  
Ah, Gene Stratton Porter. She authored the little gem on top of the stack -- Girl of the Limberlost. My grandmother (the same that thought my brain had gone to mush) discovered all three of these volumes in her garage and I hoarded them and read them and have placed them in positions of honor in my bookshelves for over two decades. I'm such a nerd. 
Old books are beautiful. I love the feel of worn pages and soft, used bindings. You kinda want to reach into the picture and thumb through these pages, don't you? You'd enjoy it. I promise! 

The reality is that currently, I keep stacks of books about to remind myself that I do actually intend to read them eventually. I'm afraid to put them away. 'Course truth be told, I'm out of shelf space . . . but if I had the space and I tucked them neatly away, I'd forget I wanted to read them! Probably the best thing would be to quit collecting them to begin with. I should be disciplined - complete one before beginning another. That's what I tell my kids about their toys. That doesn't work either!

This weekend's task, among other things, is to finish Flow. I'm nearly there and then I can tell you all about it;) You know you can hardly wait! 


Anonymous said...

i love the feel and smell of old books.

robinbird said...

while i am paying attention the book list, (i swear i am) i am taken with the photographs too. I love seeing the family photo in the background of the stack and the various ways in which you are presenting us with your treasures. you have always been a source of reading ideas for me and the one capturing my attention here is Girl of the Limberlost which i have never heard of before. I'm not sure if i ever remembered to tell that i read Pillars of the World with the greatest interest and concentration. It will be a long time favorite and as you said who would have guessed? i loved the dang thing. the next one i did not enjoy and stopped in mid book, which i know is a sin against books but i just couldn't hang in there. For one thing the distinctions between good and evil were simply not clear enough. And it had a ring of the boring climate of modern world suburbia in america to me. harsh criticism i know :) any way.. i will see you on monday as planned. I so enjoyed your write up on Shutter Sisters!!! bravo and well done! perhaps i can link to your site on my blog now...? think about it.