Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Tea

It was somewhere in my very late teens that I took a course called Evangelism Explosion.  Some may remember it as the introduction to the late D. James Kennedy's ministry for many people.

Well, that has been over thirty years and I still remember one of the "truths" taught in that course as I look at my bookshelves and those in other homes.  That being... the contents of a bookshelf tells you a lot about that person.

I spent a lot of time on the sofa recently so my direct "line of sight" were the contents of a few shelves in a large bookshelf in my living room.  

The two tall sets of shelves... one on the left side of the TV stand and the other on the right... were originally purchased for a much larger home and there flanked the fireplace.

But when we sold the house, these shelves were among those stated as going with us after the sale. 

They hold a lot of heavy volumes!  I don't think they mind at all living in a smaller house this past eight years or so, smaller rooms only reflect their importance as they stand regal on each side of the small Vizio TV set.

Anyway, this past week as I was looking at the books straight ahead, I thought of that "truth" written by D. James Kennedy and what people would learn about me from my books.  Just perusing a few shelves made me smile...

For one thing, except for all my biographies of the Founding Fathers and Mothers... one would see names like Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Barbara Bush, Robert Bork, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Whittaker Chambers... well, you get the political scheme of things. 

Just a tad on the conservative side?  Except I do have friends who are as liberal as I am conservative.  We've been cancelling out each others votes for years.  But I digress...

If you were to judge who I am by the contents of my bookshelves, you would see a love of history... American and Israeli.  For both countries, if one would look at their infancy, even their detractors would have to admit the fact both exist today is miraculous.

There is one row taken up by the Schaeffers, both Edith and Francis... and that is after I have given away quite a few of their books.  A couple of books by their daughter, Susan, resides elsewhere.  A biography of Hans Rookmaaker is tucked in with the Schaeffers as it is in their writings I learned about their friend.

There are books by and about Jonathan Edwards, C. S. Lewis, Madam Curie, Golda Meir, the volumes of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's diaries, Anthony Trollope's autobiography, and a biography of Lilias Trotter.  Just to name a few...

Mind you, this is a partial list of a few shelves in one bookcase... among the numerous bookcases throughout the house.

If perusing other shelves, one would find favorite fiction, historical novels, and would probably get an idea that I have a special fondness for Gene Stratton-Porter, Jan Karon, James Herriot,  Elizabeth Goudge and D. E. Stevenson.... just to name a few fiction authors whose works bring me joy.

My husband went through a time when he read a lot of books by Irving Stone and Taylor Caldwell.  They reside near the Stratton-Porter books.

There are books about decorating and quilting and gardening and landscaping and needlework and so many volumes of cookbooks a person could cook something new each day for the remainder of a lifetime.

If one were to walk into my study (which is the name I finally decided upon for Christopher's former room) they would notice dozens of books about homemaking, Bible studies, tea time, homeschooling, reading, writing, and further books about decorating.

Of course, they may be confused by the large bookshelf in my study containing numerous books titled C+, C++, Calculus, The Advent of the Algorithm, Understanding the Linux Kernel, and GP-rated Japanese anime'.  Those were left behind by the previous occupant. 

Although our tastes do overlap in his many volumes of Churchill's writings about WWII and numerous classic children's novels.   But the only C+ I've ever known were my grades in math... in a good year.

Are these all of the bookshelves?  Oh, no... there are shelves in the family room and our bedroom which house many paperback favorites of fiction and nonfiction read in past years. 

This is where you will find our favorites by Randy Alcorn, Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury, Beverly Lewis, Grace Livingston Hill, Angela Hunt, Brock and Bodie Thoene, Terri Blackstock, Wanda Brunstetter, and Melanie Jeschke... off the top of my head, I'm certain there are many other wonderful authors I've forgotten.

Not to mention the bookshelf in the home office, full of Hubby's books about Forestry, Furniture Design, and Quality Assurance Engineering... and composting.

I guess we all have our own shelves except for Victoria.  I could see it now... The History of Kibble, The Cat Who Came in From the Cold, Advanced Mousing, The Autobiography of Morris the Cat... and many more.

What does your bookshelf say about you?  ;)

Artwork:  The Bookworm


Susan said...

My bookshelves would tell you that I am always trying to grasp a bit more the Grace of God and the way that He loves us. Also, that I thoroughly enjoy travel, plus tales of how people make a home in other countries (think Under the Tuscan Sun).

Along with that I love a variety of fiction, especially all things Harry Potter.

I love books.

Marie said...

I saw that you have books by Brock and Brodie Thoene--I read The Zion Covenant and want to read the series again.

Cheri said...

Sad is the home that is bereft of books...

Wonderful lists of books. I'd love to curl up in a chair with any your books (except calc).

Our books? Missionary bios, reference books, sewing, Bible study, cookbooks, antique books, my piano books count? Children's books for any young visitors.

Oh, and frugal living books.

Yes, please to the Thoene books. I don't own any, but am grateful to the library for making them available.

Love books!

hopeinbrazil said...

I think I'd enjoy browsing your "library" very much since we have many similar tastes. I probably lean more toward classic literature,but I love Goudge, Trollope and Edith Schaeffer.

Vee said...

Did you leave out Goudge and Karon? Oh I think my bookshelf would reflect an interest in Maine writers and love of pastoral settings. They'd also reflect a love of Christian study and Conservative values. Toss in a few old college textbooks and there you have it! Much like yours, I'm thinking.

Unknown said...

Our shelves definitely reflect us! I just purged too so I know what we basically have...nature/science shelf, series shelf that we are in the process of collecting (this has Wilder, Lewis, Montgomery, L'Engle, Enright, Austen, Tolkien and a few others on it), individual fiction shelf with various things on it...a misc shelf with various fun childhood books...a missionary/mothering/parenting/devotional type shelf for ME ;) (Carmichael, Chambers, Ruth Bell Graham, Schaeffer's, Clarkson, L.B. Cowman, Mason, and others on it) and then we have two learning shelves with all our current RA's...Carry On Mr.Bowditch, Caddy Woodlawn, Pilgrim's Progress and others! We also have quite a few books about WWII as my husband really enjoys those - also on the Revolutionary War and Civil War as well. :)

Unknown said...

If you were to look at my shelf, you would realize that we have similar taste in books. I have many of the same books and plenty of children's literature also. My husband loves Louis L'Amour westerns so we also have plenty of those. Eugenia Price Lighthouse series and Catherine Marshall's "Christy" are a few I have that you didn't mention.

Heather L. said...

Very conscious of this and wondering what our houseguests will think as they peruse our shelves for 6 weeks while we are away. Must remember to tell them that one of the shelves in my bathroom is my "for sale on amazon" shelf and not my "favorites". Ha ha ha!!!

Susan Humeston said...

More than anything else, I'd spend money on books, preferably used and loved. I have so many bookcases in my house, there isn't much room for us!! I've compiled an almost complete list of all my books on It's a fun site - and free.

Karen Andreola said...

"Wear the old coat, buy the new book," I think Ben Franklin said this in his almanac. That's been our life in some ways. But we've also bought the "old" book.

Yesterday I worked cooking company meals ahead - as extending family is coming from out-of-state for the week-end - your post came to mind (days after reading it). And when I glanced at my frig to tidy it up the notes and announcements along with pictures drawn by a grandson, it crossed my mind that an American refrigerator is "telling" too.
Karen Andreola