we ♡ books

Saturday, February 2, 2013

we  books here at Black Street ! remember this little illustration ? discovered again during the big clean out of last weekend

Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. 
They are the destination, and the journey.They are home.

Anna Quindlen - How Reading Changed My Life

I love books, I have since I was a young girl. My parents, especially my mother was/is a crazed reader. I grew up in a house with bookshelves everywehere. Books were to be kept, saved, shelved for a next time - you never knew you might want to read that book again. I was exposed to the library also as a young child. Oh my, I remember the library and the librarian vividly from my childhood a big rectangular room with very high ceilings in our town hall. But most of all I remember the books, at that time and my age they were mostly picture books, with glossy plastic protective sleeves and they had a scent. That wonderful and distinct, slightly musty smell of a library book. It's always smelled like comfort to me. When I was a little older I devoured the animal character chapter books by Thornton W. Burgess. They were small hard covered books, each one a different colour and I remember their spines lined up on my bookcase - of course I was trying to gather and read the whole collection. Later still I thrilled along with Nancy Drew and her gang, on the edge of my comfy chair, biting my nails, heart thudding a little (it's funny how reading those books as an adult they sadly don't carry the same zing). We were always given a bit of money when the (monthly I think) Scholastic book catalogue came out at school. From these catalogue ordered books I was hooked on another mystery series Encyclopedia Brown a young boy and his dog who solved the perplexing puzzles around his neighbourhood and small town. Around that same time I discovered non-fiction and began reading biographies - of Madam Curie, Jacques Cousteau & Christiaan Barnard and for awhile (6th or 7th grade) I was convinced I would have a career in science - an oceanographer perhaps or  maybe I'd become an open heart surgeon. Books were an education, an escape & an assistant of my dreams.

At this point in my life I read for most of the same reasons. I continue to love non-fiction. I love to learn about nature or science or the mind. I devour books that would be classified as self-help, books about why we worry, about our imaginations, creativity or a favourite study topic of mine - anxiety. I love to experience the thrills of mountain climbing, wilderness hiking or solo sailing in the wild southern seas all while safe, snug & tucked into my nest of down & flannel in the chocolate brown bedroom. And I love fiction, especially at bedtime (almost my only reading time). I try to pull myself away from the TTD* by 8:30pm which is hard these days as I have such wonderfully fun & challenging work projects that I love to be working on. You could call me a workaholic or you could call me someone extremely passionate about what I do. The fact that love, passion & salary live happily in the same sentence in my life is something I am eternally grateful for ... but by 8:30 each evening I'm often kind of wound up, head spinning, too much going on in my mind.

For that reason I especially love reading fiction at night because it calms me, opening the pages to my bookmarked spot is like taking a little tranquilizer or a big slug of something hard, it shoos the monkey mind away as begin to read and drift gradually into the lives, the dramas and cares of other people in other places. I swear this reading habit of mine is one of the most important habits/rituals I have in keeping my sanity. Reading is a gift I give myself. I love books. I love reading & I love the library.

I'm currently reading Bill Gaston's The World - it's wonderful, quirky & perfect. A book I picked up on the new book shelf at the library Thursday, I'd never hear of Bill or this book. A lovely fluke.

In books I have traveled, not only to other worlds, but into my own. 

Anna Quindlen - How Reading Changed My 

 I can't mention books or reading without mentioning the FaceBook for book lovers. Goodreads.com it's a fantastic community, a place to keep track of all the books you've read & want to read and I try to bully all most of my friends into friending me there rather than over at FB. I asked someone the other day what they meant by FB (that's how outta touch I am with FB) but GR - please friend me there ;-)

and yes, that's Oliver on the stack of books he's wearing his office duds.

* TTD my beautiful big teak topped desk home of creative empire building headquarters


  1. Reading is my all time favourite and much indulged activity. I go through 4-6 books a week. I browse thru my library website, reserve my choices from a large regional collection, and voila! they show up to my little town in a few days, all lined up on a shelf waiting for me.

    I started visiting the public library at about 5 yrs old. In one neighbourhood we lived, the bookmobile would arrive... imagine, a huge bus-sized vehicle full of books. Heaven.

  2. Blue Heron I love hearing this. I work that library website like there's no tomorrow - I put holds on so many things that's there's never a Thursday (book delivery day) that there isn't a pile of stuff for me - movies, TV series, magazines, fiction & non fiction + audio books too. I envy your reading prolificness. I only read at bedtime & sadly it often puts me to sleep quickly so I'm slow to finish books.

    Perhaps you'd like to join GoodReads (& friend me) no pressure please ;-) xo Susan

  3. ps. Bookmobiles are very common in rural parts of Canada we still have them here in Nova Scotia fortunately our little village has permanent library.

  4. I don't read enough. I've never been a fast reader and if I read at bedtime I'm quickly asleep too.

  5. we love libraries... the one I volunteer at has a Bookmobile for the little Colorado towns we live by. LOVE the tie, you can do another one with a Bow Tie :-)
    Tail wags ~moose

  6. Hi, Susan
    Just added you as a friend on Good Reads. Would love to hear your recommendations. :-)

  7. Moose, Oliver's saving his CE salary for this dude-alicious office outfit from etsy


    & hey great Alison check out my read section - current favs are State of Wonder by Anne Patchett & Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, but lately I've enjoyed a lot of books - wonder what that means ... oops too much wondering is never good ;-)

  8. Hey Sybil, no wonder reading puts you sleep ... with all that exploring, hiking, dog walking & being really curious that book would put me to sleep too. Trey and Wendy are very lucky dogs & I have a hunch they know that xos

  9. Such a perfect illustration! All of us readers will adore it!!! Your office assistant is THE BOMB!!!

  10. I love this post! The quotes you shared are spot on! Writing them in my journal now!

  11. A wonderful post dear Susan, I love books, their smell, their covers, their words and the tactile experience of turning the pages to discover more of a story or some exciting facts.
    I love that image, Oliver looks so handsome in his tie, what a great assistant you have.
    xoxoxo ♡

  12. HA HA HA on the Etsy outfit, poor Oliver will really have to save + save + save, unless--- you pay him very well!!!

  13. Hey Moose - he prefers to be paid in Whiskas Temptations ♡

  14. that's great! He does not "need" that outfit anyway :-)

  15. love books myself, always looking for great suggestions. can't get into the e-reader idea, just doesn't seem right. i could read all day, but then nothing would get done. i've done that in the past, but i try to be more obedient now. there's nothing more decadent then reading your way through a whole day though. ;)

  16. I am also an avid reader. I loved Nancy Drew when I was a kid and read whatever I could get my hands on from the library.

    I will have a look out for The World as what I saw on Amazon about it intrigues me :)


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