Sunday, September 24, 2006

We love books!

Whenever I go to someone else's house, I like to look on their book- shelves to see what they had been reading. I especially love it when I find familiar "friends" on the shelves that are also on mine, or that I have read and enjoyed. Same goes when I visit in offices...or even book stores. I just love looking at book titles with remembrance, if I've read them, and longing, if I haven't.

Even in my own home, or my parents' home, I sometimes just go through the bookcases looking for these old friends. I don't necessarily have to read them again, although sometimes I'll find one I just have to grab and reread. But it's often enough just to look at them and recall how much I learned, how much I enjoyed what I'd read.

There are books that I reread with regularity. Louisa May Alcott books (especially Rose in Bloom and An Old Fashioned Girl) are among them. So is a trilogy written by Marjorie Holmes about the birth, life, and death of Jesus (Two from Galilee, Three from Galilee, The Messiah).

Last week, I reread the second in a delightful series (The Amazing Mrs. Polifax) about an older woman (in her 60s) who inadvertently got herself involved as a CIA currier. There must be a dozen or more in the series and I've read every one of them. But it's been awhile since there was a new one, so I went back to an early one. I was surprised that I did not remember it, although to be fair, it's been at least a dozen years since I read it. What I like especially about this series is that it takes Mrs. Polifax all over the world, thus transporting me with her. A cheap way to travel, wouldn't you say?!

Books have always mattered in my life. I can't remember a time when I wasn't reading, or wanting to. My sisters, our mother and I are always sharing books with each other, always talking about the books we've read. I have a librarian friend who always has several books going at once. She gave me one of my all-time favorite gifts one Christmas by sending me a beautiful cloth bag that had seven books in it--all firsts in some of her favorite series! That started me on a journey I'm still on with each of those seven authors.

I have a great quilting series that has become a traditional Mother's Day gift I give my mom. There are seven or eight, now...and we have read and reread them all. This one is about several women who eventually come together to run a quilting retreat. You don't know how many times I've wished I could pack up and go to Elm Creek after reading one of those books!

I love reading about places I've been, countries I've visited. I like reading books set in a country while I am in that country. I've done that in China (The Joy Luck Club), in the South Africa (Cry, the Beloved Country), in the Caribbean (Breath, Eyes, Memory), and in Egypt (any Amelia Peabody book). It's great to get inside a country that way! I will admit, though, when I'm traveling, it's hard for me to read much because I'm so interested in looking at the countryside. Still, before bed, it's the coolest thing to be in the country you're reading about.

Photo #1--General fiction in my parents' basement
Photo #2--Books on writing in my study/library
Photo #3--General fiction and biography in my library
Photo #4--Religious, spiritual and children's books in my living room
Photo #5--Yearbooks, art books, travel books in my living room
Photo #6--Music and composer biographies in my parents' loft
Photo #7--Miscellaneous books and The Colonel in my parents' hallway
Photo #7--Religious, genealogical, historical and biographical books in my parents' library


mulberrypatch said...

Wow! That's amazing to see all those books! You have them organized by category...if I gave you a random title would you know exactly where that book is located? Do you have the books organized by subcategory? Basically, what's your strategy for remembering where things are?? :-)

Sunny said...

The mossflower (aka my niece) summed it up well when she said, "Mmmm, books!".

Rondi said...

Mulberrypatch...that's true, in theory, and almost in practice. I still have a lot of books stacked up in my study and bedroom, so I can't always find what I want, but often enough =) Books are alphabetical by author within their bookcase. That's about as far is it goes, though. I have a fair share of my books catalogued on computer, too, via a scanner that enters everything automatically. It's pretty cool!

Patty said...

I don't feel so bad now, seeing all the books you and your parents have !
Somedays we comment we should make our furniture out of books. Hard to part with them too.
I have my books in categories too. Then by author, and then by size. What can I say : )
If you need more books,
You might enjoy Loise Rich, "We took to the Woods", good good book.
And if you want to read some good oldies, Victorian era... well I know a few