Thursday, November 18, 2010

Are Books an Addiction?

Passing a bookstore when we travel is hard to do. I love to check out used bookstores, independent book sellers, even book booths at flea markets. I love old titles, new editions, the feel of slick covers, and the smell of antiquated old hard backs. Oh, I know the Kindle, the Nook, and the iPad will soon substitute for old fashioned books, but nothing will replace the feel of an old page that feels like fine tissue between finger and thumb as a reader turns it.



A few years ago, DH invited a new fellow employee and his wife home for supper. Jesus and his wife were from Juarez, Mexico, and we ate outside on our deck where we talked of books, movies, hobbies, and families. When DH brought them past the hall book shelves and into my office to see the oak desk he had built for me, Jesus could hardly look at the desk for being spellbound by the packed bookcase. “You really DO read a lot and collect books,” he mumbled with mouth slightly ajar. I never thought the shelves looked THAT full until I saw them through Jesus’s eyes. I did not have the heart to show him the other book shelves that looked just the same that stood in every other room.


Yep, I love books. I weed every so often and then wish I had some of the volumes back to loan to a friend or to check for a favorite line on the pages. I have small groupings of favorite authors like May Sarton, Madeleine L’Engle, Stephen Ambrose, Elizabeth Berg, Willa Cather, and Gladys Taber. A small collection of unusual cookbooks sit on the shelves away from the used cookbook shelf in the kitchen. I have a shelf of poetry, of Christmas books, of writing books, a collection of books on tea, and some prayer books including my parental grandmother’s Sunday Missal, and a handful of novels about a 1940’s character named Claudia by Rose Franken. I have a copy of Annie Proux’s short stories of a few years ago that included the original Brokeback Mountain which was later made into a movie. I bought this book just because it was the first book in twenty five years that had been printed with colored plates reminiscent of books of an earlier era.


No doubt about it, I have a book problem, but there are worse and even more expensive habits and addictions about in the world. Mine is harmless. Already I think about January after the holidays, a time I hibernate for reading and writing both. Why, I have even considered my first New Year’s resolution: go through one complete bookcase rereading all the favorites it holds and then passing them (the ones I can part with!) on to a new reader somewhere. Those dark winter days are perfect for a flickering candle, soft music, a pot of hot tea tucked under a quilted cozy, and a good book--or two…or three…

8 comments:

Betty Craker Henderson said...

Oh, my goodness. My house is almost lined with books. I think I must be like some of those old people who have to hoard food. Somewhere deep inside I have a terrible fear of someday not having one of my best loved books to read and I just HAVE to make sure it is right at hand. I will never have to do without THAT one, at any rate!

deborahjbarker said...

Hi, found you on WOW! I was about to read your recommended posts but this one caught my eye. I love books, hoard books and my childhood ambition was to live and write in a house over flowing with children, dogs and books. I achieved all that I am happy to report. (Fitted a husband in there somewhere too.)Loved your post and will certainly be back for more.

irishoma said...

Hi Claudia,
Reading is my addiction, and I can't have that without books. Love to read them, collect them, buy them, share with family and friends, and give them away as gifts.
Donna V.
http://donnasbookpub.blogspot.com

LG said...

If music be the food of life or something such, reading is the daily juice....I too have way too many more books than I can read, but hey. I do intend to read them all you know!!!

LG

tom-t-urkee said...

I feel the same way about books. Lovely photos.

Judie said...

Our bookshelves used to look like yours several years ago, so we cleaned them out (well, sort of) and donated over 400 books to our local library. We kept the ones that had special meaning to us. Now, it's time to start thinking about donating again. I, too, find it hard to pass a book store without going in for a "quick look around."
Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! Hope you'll visit often.

Susan said...

Hey Claudia...I am right up there with you on books! I have a SEVERE book addiction and you know what? I DON'T CARE. Books give me tremendous joy. I LOVE my library shelves. They line two walls of our living room, from ceiling to floor. My DH, God bless that man, built them for me. It is SO HARD to weed out. I do it sparingly and infrequently. I love to buy books as gifts, as well, and just did that yesterday.

So, guess I'm Bookie Number 2. hee hee Have a great Sunday! Susan

Barb Hodges said...

Hi Claudia, I, too, am a book addict. I love, love books. I buy and I find it hard to give them away so I just buy duplicates for gifts. I encourage everyone I meet, especially kids, to always have a book. I found you through Donna's blog. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.