The more that you read, the more things you will know.

The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

― Dr. SeussI Can Read With My Eyes Shut!


My book shelves overflow with people I admire. Not every author is a favorite, but all are meaningful in quirky ways, different as major and minor keys.  Full of powerful elegant sentences, every book reminds me that writing is an act of invention. It puts me in a state of complete wonder.


These volumes are like lifelong friends – I know they’re there, even if I don’t check in with them on a regular basis. Call me crazy but some of them will never leave my shelves. Mostly the ones in tatters, dog-eared, held together with tape and tenderness.  Simple. Humble. Nostalgic.

little women
Like Little Women. It’s as real to me as the rest of my life.  And the book itself, well, I
love its weight, its smell, the crackle of its spine.

As my bookshelves expand, I feel like my brain expands too.  I think it’s literary luck, the way books meet you where you are in life and help you get to where you’re going next.


When I was a kid, my mother used the library like day care.  What a bargain ~ a meagre ten-cent bus ride to town and back on George’s Transit.

For as long as I wanted, I was free to wander the stacks and pick up anything that caught my eye.  The library fed my endless appetite for the tomfoolery of crime fiction and scandalous behavior of grizzled hard-drinking detectives.

It was a world that existed outside of classes, catechism and choir practice. A world racier than the one I lived in. And I could be part of that.

detective novels

I still use the library but I want and need my own books. To me, there’s nothing more beautiful than a wall of paper and ink.

What’s on your wall?  What’s your tattered-and-taped favorite?  

What fed your literary appetite as a kid?

Toni 3/27/13

4 thoughts on “BOOK BY BOOK

  1. Reading has always been my safe haven. Getting lost in a story and shutting out what was happening around me probably saved my sanity. As a child I read constantly. There were no threats of “no TV for you” if I was caught under the covers late at night with a flashlight trying to finish a book. It was always “no books for you”.
    My first “real” books where “The Bobbsey Twins” by Laura Lee Hope. I collected them all. I can remember life events by what book I was reading. I was reading “Isadora Duncan” when I was 12 and my Mom passed. I was reading Leon Uris’s “Trinity” when I found out I had cancer.
    I agree, there is nothing like a wall lined with books. Every one of them a treasure to explore.


  2. Lovely thoughts and photos. We’ve gone back to haunting the library after years of foolishly neglecting it. I must admit though that I grow fonder of my elibrary with time and browse the covers on my iPad with increasing pleasure … still with a tinge of shame though … Nothing will replace my treasured older books but I see more new ones being downloaded than not. Conflicted I am!


  3. Even though it’s bad for the books, I don’t mind the ones that are sun-bleached on the spines, with the color seeped-out like old photos. Kind of feels like they’re aging with you. Nice post.


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