Friday, July 17, 2009

The anticipation of unread books

I've talked to Stephanie more the past couple of weeks than we normally talk in a month (or more)... all because she's been taking the kids to swimming lessons each morning.

When the cell phone rang yesterday morning, I answered it with "this is your last day!". Then I thought I should be more specific... the last day of lessons, not her last day of breathing. :)

Anyhoo... one of the subjects we were talking about this last week was how one is not truly a bibliophile unless you have books stacked someplace... implying one has more books than room for shelves.

I've had to get rid of lots of books after moving to a smaller house. Some went to New England (almost all my "classic" homemaking and homeschooling books) but many were given to the library or Goodwill. It meant making hard choices but ending up with the most important and cherished.

There is no room to squeeze in another bookshelf... but that hasn't stopped me from collecting more books... especially at library sales and thrift stores where I can purchase a book for a dollar.

I mean, really, there are new books coming out and I've developed more a taste for novels than I did in the homeschooling years (probably because I have more time to read them!).

Which poses the question why one buys more books when it means starting a new stack beside the bed, or behind the wingback chair, or stuffed between the large bookshelves and the wall or...

...on the living room coffee table where this is hardly any room left for a cup of tea and a snack?

I think it's all about the anticipation of knowing we have not one, not two, but dozens of books ready should there be the available time to prop our feet up and read... and read... and read. Not that we necessarily would mind you, read dozens of books at one time... it's knowing that we could if we wanted.

There is just something about having unread books on the shelf that excites me with the possibility of opening that front cover and finding... treasure. Especially if it is written by an author I've already read and loved.

I have history, biography, and other nonfiction books waiting to be read. It never fails... on a particular snowy afternoon or rainy evening... I start thinking of a book which has been waiting patiently on the shelf for that moment it will be removed and treasured.

Sometimes the book is not on a shelf but at the bottom of a stack next to my bed, causing all others to come tumbling down in jealousy that they were not chosen first.

I do enjoy re-reading books very much. Actually, if I'm feeling tired or distracted, I often choose an old favorite to lose myself in again. It's a safe and secure destination which I've visited before... there will be no surprises... I know I will end up with warm and cozy feelings. Just this morning I took my favorite Elizabeth George book off the shelf, the one I've read over and over... but a perfect choice to peruse while sitting in a doctor's office waiting room.

But most of the time I'm willing to jump in and become immersed with new thought, or a new plot, or learning more about someone I admire... perhaps looking at a Bible passage in a way I'd never thought or learning wisdom from one who has walked this path before.

I hope you have at least one stack of books. :)

18 comments:

Kimberly said...

"There is just something about having unread books on the shelf that excites me with the possibility of opening that front cover and finding... treasure. Especially if it is written by an author I've already read and loved."
--Love this! Opening a new book is always such a thrill. The possibilities are endless.
I know your a Randy Alcorn fan, too. Just wondered if you'd read any T Davis Bunn? His Great Divide is right up there with Safely Home to me. Of course, since they both deal with China, I'm sure I'm a bit biased. He really is a good author and one I think you might enjoy. I mean, if I like it, you must!! ;)

Elizabeth said...

Books!?! I'll tell you...it's like a sickness (but a good one).

Take this morning for example...went to Marshall's for a summer blouse to wear to a picnic this weekend...got sidetracked and came out with three books (cookbook, a Joni Tada inspirational, and Soul Matters for Woman daybook) but, you guessed it, no blouse!

Elizabeth

~Bren~ said...

I love to re read books too.
Tell your husband that Elmers wood glue worked like a charm on my old Bible. It is stronger now than when it was new! Amazing!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have stacks and overflowing book shelves and even lists of books I want to be on the lookout for to add to the collection. If I live to be 100, I'll probably never get all of what I already have read. Still, I plan to attend the annual friends of the library book fair in September because well, just because it calls my name.
One question I have for you...what do you think of the "Harry Potter" series? I don't want to open a can of worms so if you would rather not comment, I understand. It is just that I have heard some christians say they are bad and should not be read and then I've heard others say it is OK. I loved the "Lod of the Rings" series so I am naturally curious about the Harry Potter series.

scrappy quilter said...

I do have a stack of books, yet they are mostly from the library. When we moved, I did like you culled my books. Most went to the library and a few to good will. Now that we live on a fixed income, I use the libraries way more. We are so fortunate to have such exception libraries in our area.

I agree with Kimberly...I'm sure you'd enjoy T Davis Bunn's books.

Anonymous said...

Oh I am a book stacker too.. I have stacks in Front of my book cases...and here and then also there and on this and that and over there too!! I don't dare to go to the library sales even though I want to! I find too many for so little already. :)I hate to give them away! I do but if I liked them a lot I keep the title etc and discription in a notebook in case I want to get it at the library for another looks see!! Or to have the info to recommend it to someone else or some one on a..... ..blog! :) Jody

Sharon said...

Oh my Brenda...all I can say is so many books...so little time...and funds.!LOL :-) Blessings~Sharon

Joy said...

I have them stacked on shelves, in tupperware containers and on my nightstand.. oh and some in my coffee table drawers. Some are library and some I have bought or won. It's a sickness...lol

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

but your shelves/stacks look so much neater than mine! books are everywhere in my home, too! C

Marianna said...

Definitely plenty of stacks in this house...ours tend to be stacks of library books, but the potential is still there!

Anonymous said...

One can never have too many books! We have bookshelves in almost every room in our house. The little ones fit almost anywhere, even the hallway. Still, there are a few stacks as well.

Friend Debra

Anonymous said...

Having enough room for books is a serious problem alright!! I seldom buy books anymore because I still have more than I truly have room for. Also, it annoys my husband that I have this many...one day however...back to library sales, etc. I see some at thrift shops the few times a year I go to one...and usually they are cook books, as I am always on the prowl for recipes that can be changed into ones people with allergies can eat.
Another Elizabeth

Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

Oh, yes, my friend. Stacks and stacks and stacks. It's motivating, too, isn't it? I love knowing that, as soon as I finish the books that are currently in my reading basket, there are more just waiting to be placed in the basket and begun. So many books, so little time!

Connie said...

i love to read also. My recent most liked author is Jodi Piocult.
So good, can't lay it down.

debbie bailey said...

Are you kidding? My stacks have stacks! I love seeing stacks of books on our library floor. I love cruising the stacks at the local library. I also love Elizabeth George. Which book were you referring to of hers? My favorite is The Dean's Watch.

Vee said...

Oh I work very hard at keeping books under control. Currently, they're all over my grandfather's toolbox that serves as a coffee table and all up and down the arms of the couch. Not a good look. You'll get a kick out of this, Brenda. My grandmother asked for a nice light mystery yesterday. I could only find one. Guess that that is not my genre.

Marie said...

I have a stack of books on a stool by my chair. One of my friends has shared a series with me. I am also fortunate that I can go on line and hold books at the library and this sweet girl brings them to me and comes back when they are ready to be returned.

Marlene Depler said...

It's good to know that I am not the only one with lots of unread books---and it not because I don't read! I just buy them faster than I read. Books! I'm a fan!