Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Turning the pages
I am proud to be a bibliophile. Take me to a bookstore, let me loose, and I'm happy. Over the years I've acquired a lot of books, most of which I've kept. None of which have a suitable home. We have bookcases in the living room, hall, office, and spare room and we still have books all over the floor. There are many books that I know I will never read again and yet I cannot bring myself to sell or give them away. And then there are those old friends that I can read over and over and still enjoy myself -- whether I read the book from cover to cover to just a few pages.

In my mythical dream house I have a full English library. I don't mean a library full of English books, but a library such as you see in old movies set in English manor houses. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves lining all four walls. A fireplace. Two comfy chairs and some good lighting. And, of course, one of the bookcases slides open to reveal the secret passage to my bedroom. Hey, I said it was mythical.

But how wonderful it would be to have such a room. We're currently working on turning the spare room into a music office for Husband to store his thousands of jazz CDs and give him a place to do his freelance writing. And we'll probably add another bookcase because the piles on the floor are really getting ridiculous. But it's not quite the same as, say, Henry Higgans's wonderful library in My Fair Lady.

The sad thing is that I cannot stop wanting more books. I'm being good now because we're living on one income and we need to watch expenses, but it seems that every week I read about a new book that I must have. Yes, we have a good local library, but there's something about owning your own copy that makes you feel indulgent. At least it makes me feel that way.

I don't know what I'd do without books. I spend time reading every day and it's a huge pleasure for me. Luckily Husband feels the same. He's even more hardcore than I, in some ways. The last time we were in Hawaii I read a cheesy (but very enjoyable) Nora Roberts romance and he read Don Quixote. The time before that he read Moby Dick. He loved them both. I no longer read the classics as I should (though in my defense I may say that I've read most of the classic canon of literature). But he can happily lose himself in a 400-page novel and not even realize that 5-hours has passed. That's actually one of the things I love about him.

It's been a long time since I was able to indulge in a good bookstore romp. When I start working again I think I'll take my first paycheck and treat myself. But until then I'm wading through my to-be-read pile (thankfully tall enough to get me through my unemployment), make lists of books that I want, and pick up old favorites now and then to remind myself that I am lucky enough to be surrounded by the luxury of books.

1 comment:

the foreigner said...

I cannot agree more with you on wanting/desiring/craving an English style library with wall to floor shelves of books. Even better would be a wingchair in that library that I could settle in to read these books.