Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Saturday, April 2, 2011

B - is for Books that make your hands smile.

"Always read something
that will make you look good
if you die in the middle of it."
P. J. Rourke

I can't say that I have always loved books. In fact, while I was in school books held no special appeal ... as evidenced by my remarkably un-distinguished GPA. I read to pass a test, to understand street signs, to determine the price of things and to check the TV Guide for my favorite show. Owning books was also a pretty low priority.

Somewhere along the way of growing, maturing, surviving ... I discovered


But books and I have a quirky history!

I think my experience with books covers the whole gamet of emotions. At first I couldn't care less about books, and then ... the space ship hovered over me and I loved them (go figure). But my love seemed to be limited to owning, not reading. I wanted to "own" the knowledge inside the book. My brain wasn't really engaged, just my hands, and owning the information was the goal ... next best thing to having it installed my brain.

The logic on this is a bit faulty, I know, but it worked for a long time.

Forty-two years ago, I married a man who also valued books. He, however, actually read all his books - where I only read some of mine - remember, owning was better than reading. Together we built a huge library. We haunted new and used book stores. We bought book shelves to house those books. We inventoried our books. And when we changed residences, we paid dearly for having so many (heavy) boxes of books to move. We made books a major part of our lives.

And then 5 years ago, the serendipity that is life began to take my husband's vision. Although he still retains some sight, the voracious reader and owner of books, sold off his entire library and replaced them with audio versions. And I adapted with him. Audio books were "better", so I thought. You could listen to books while cleaning, while cooking, while knitting, while walking.

Now I have changed again ... I want to hold the book in my hand. I want to feel the paper, admire the cover art, turn the pages and hold my place with a book mark. Holding audio books - tapes or disks, or even using the newest technology - the Kindle - just doesn't do it.

My book ownership is modest - pretty much what I can hold in my small night stand. I am pretty selective now in what I buy. If it is fiction, I am happy to read it and pass it on to new hands. The book doesn't live with me forever.

But more importantly, I want to actually read all my books. Shocking, I know!! :-)

And finally ... I am happy to use my wonderful public library! How's that for a moment of quirky personal growth!

My love-affair with books is back!


  1. Better to have one book and have read it well than to have a whole shelf full and have to dust it.

  2. Mybabyjohn,
    You are so right - concise and to the point -- sums up my whole posting. And it only took me over 60 years to get there! :-)

  3. I love books. I too used to buy them just to own them. Now I buy them - or like you do, borrow them from the library and I read them. I've also learned to NOT have to finish a book I'm not enjoying. Such freedom.
    I recently got a Kobo and use the eLibrary. It's ok, but I prefer the feel and savour the aroma of a real book much more.
    Happy B Day.

  4. What an amazing adventure you have had with books. I can relate to your husbands situation as that was what happened to my mother. I also completely agree on the touch and feel of holding a book.

    Be back tomorrow.


  5. I'm with you on the Kindle thing too. They are nice to travel with, but if I'm at home, I would much prefer to have the actual book in my hands.

    Happy "B" Day!
    Lana D.

  6. hi Elaine:)

    my wife has a kindle but like you i prefer to have the book in my hands. have you ever watched the movie, "The Book of Eli?"

  7. Hi, Elaine! Haha, yes, I've seen a few "Book" and "Blog" posts, but they're all just a little bit different. We, to, have been buying books for a long time and just got Kindles. They've taken some getting used to, but now I like it just as much as any "real" book in my hands. :-)

  8. I share your passion for books and really do enjoy picking them up at the library. I suppose the Kindle does come in handy for frequent flyers, but I'm happy at home turning pages. Very nicely done!

  9. What a great story with twist and turns and unexpected outcomes!-Just like a good book.

    A-Z Fellow Challenger
    Holly Ruggiero’sPOV

  10. Some of my earliest memories are related to looking at books or having them read to me. I truly enjoy my books.

    Contrary to my usual practice of subscribing to comments, to save time during challenge I will not be doing so during April. If you want to respond to my comment , please email me directly from your email notification for the comment.

    Tossing It Out
    Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

  11. Hehehe the top quote made me giggle, I never thought of that! So glad your love of books is back, reading is such a wonderful thing to do, it can take you to a whole new world. The trick is finding books you enjoy completely, dont ever force yourself to read something. It takes all the joy out of it.

  12. Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog and checking out my A to Z posts! I like books too, but I'm actually looking forward to having a Kindle (or something like that) at some point just to make it easier to read in bed at night. Some of the books I've read have been a little heavy or cumbersome for reading in it might be nice to enjoy some of those books in a "lighter" format :) ~Melissa

  13. I can't imagine my world without books. All the different formats now available each have there place but I do like the feel of actual pages!

  14. Makes me want to put down my text book and pick up one of the six 'fun' books I am reading. I LOVE books and I LOVED your post about them!

  15. I've always loved books and reading. I was thrilled when I learned to read. My mom says I took very good care of my childhood books. I am sorry that she gave them away. I would love to have them now. I don't buy that many books but I'm always at the library. When we move one of the first things I check out is the library.
    Happy Reading.

  16. i have always loved books. though these days i haven't as much time to read as i'd like (especially since my current free time is spent catching up on a to z blogs/watching tv!). i have yet to go the route of audio books/kindles. i like holding the books in my hand too. :)


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