Monday, October 17, 2005


To call me a bookworm would probably be an understatement. It may be the small town upbringing but didn’t realize that the average person didn’t have at least one bookcase in the house until I was well out of college.

When I was little dad hired a neighbor to build us a bookcase that was a good six feet long and had four shelves, including the top. It was always full, especially with copies of the National Geographic. As of this summer we’ve been taking that magazine since 1955.

My grandparents had a bookcase that was at least six feet tall. I know I couldn’t reach the top shelf without using a chair until I was in Jr. High. Everybody in the family had bookcases.  My friend’s families had bookcases. The last time I checked we had ten of various sizes. All pretty full. Granted a lot of those books haven’t been read in awhile, I just haven’t put my hand over my eyes and started packing the second culling so to speak. Sort of the “if you haven’t touched in the last five years do you honestly think you’re going to re-read this anytime soon, honey?

There’s a fair amount of science fiction, popular science, books on religion, especially the Celtic path of the spirit, novels, not a best seller in sight. I take it back, some of these books were best sellers just not when I bought them. Books like ‘How Green was My Valley,” “Cry the Beloved Country,” and “In This House of Brede.” And history, lots and lots of history. The majority of the books are either English or American History but I’m trying to get at least one volume for each of the major players. Russian, Indian, Arabic, that sort of thing. And Will Durant’s multi-volume History of Civilization is in there too. Oh, and a whole shelf of books on Oregon. Books on logging,  lighthouses, sailing ships, local history. We got them for dad over the years and it’s a pretty impressive collection.

We watch TV, but a lot of the programs are either things I’ve bought or taped. But, when was the last time you saw an adult character in a program read something for pleasure. Or read anything besides a menu, now that I think about it. I think the last one I saw was Jean Luc Picard on The Next Generation. And he hopped back and forth between detective stories and Greek Mythology-in Greek no less.


sistercdr said...

I grew up in a house with bookshelves filled with trinkets, and memeber of my family treat books as if they're just decorative pieces to fill in the blanks.  I felt so alone as a reader.  Now I'm craving to build bookcases and when opportunities afford, I will.  For the time being, every surface, nook and cranny will suffice.  My tastes aren't as serious as yours.  I need a bit of fluff every now and then, but I can't imagine a world without books.

lisaram1955 said...

I've just recently come to the realization that my house hasn't anywhere near enough bookcases.  I have books (not nearly as impressive a library as you have...) and nowhere to put 'em.  Been working on remedying that situation, but I'm pretty picky about my furniture choices as well...  Lisa  :-]

oceanmrc said...

What are the Celtic path of the spirit novels?

I counted the other day.  I think we have about 60 bookshelves.  Plus there are the piles and boxes.

Fascinating comment on tv character reading.  Rory Gilmore and her grandparents read for pleasure.  President Bartlett in the West Wing has a vast knowledge of literature.  Joan of Arcadia was a reader.

martnessmonstr said...

I once went 5 years without TV and was reading between 1 and 3 books a week. But since then Ive started watching tv again, and worse I spend a lot of time on line, its been about 2 weeks since I last read a book.

We have several bookshelves in da house , one that goes from the floor to the ceiling and covers more than half of one wall.

I too like reading the national geographic. Sometimes I read it from cover to cover, sometimes none of the articles interest me at all, but since 911 Ive especially been interested in reading the articles on middle eastern/muslim countries.